When Bears general manager Phil Emery fired Lovie Smith on Monday morning after nine years as the head coach, the news stunned many fans and longtime observers of the club.
RELATED: Smith fired after latest second-half collapse
However, in talking with multiple sources this morning both in the NFL and college football world, it appears that this decision was made a few weeks ago and nothing other than a deep playoff run would have been enough for Smith to save his job.
Emery has quietly been evaluating the situation and, according to sources, he had come to the decision that the Bears offensive woes could not be fixed under Smith and that for the team to build a foundation for long-term success, a change had to be made. In addition, had the Bears made the playoffs yesterday Emery was fully prepared to fire Smith when the Bears were eliminated unless a deep playoff run occurred.
The top candidates that are on Emerys list include Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. -- whose father worked as Bears assistant coach -- Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong -- who worked under Dave Wannstedt in Chicago -- and former Tampa and Oakland coach Jon Gruden, just to name a few.
RELATED: Kelly, Saban among possible Bears candidates
The big question is: Will Emery and Co. go after an established, proven former head coach or are the Bears wedded to hiring a coordinator with a history of coaching successful offenses?
RELATED: After Lovie Smith? Bears have issues to consider
On Wednesday, I will run down all of the top candidates and their backgrounds. Happy New Year!
Sometimes the best way to get yourself through a tough time is to laugh it off. They say laughter is the best medicine after all.
So when Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs reportedly agreed to a record-breaking contract extension, it's no surprise that many people took to Twitter to clown the Bears.
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Warning: do not scroll further unless you have the ability to laugh at a sad situation.
After all of that, this may be how all Bears fans feel on Twitter:
Ok, now that we’re through with the put downs, how about a little highlight to help the healing:
RELATED: Patrick Mahomes' unprecedented rise to NFL stardom can be explained quite simply
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Pat Mahomes officially woke up on Tuesday as the highest paid athlete in pro sports history.
It's especially impressive to think about considering that Mahomes didn't even start a full season until 2018. In just two years since he's been able to win a Super Bowl, league MVP, and secure close to $500 million. How did this all happen so quickly? Mahomes' agent Leigh Steinberg – who presumably set his own field's commission record on Monday, too – sat down with the Under Center Podcast back during Super Bowl media week to talk about it:
I think so much of it was growing up with a baseball player as a father, and watching the nature of ephemeral fame and how it comes and goes. It's all about being grounded, and in this moment, and not thinking about anything except focusing on this. But also having some fun with it. We're here on Radio Row, and happens is that you have so much coverage of the Super Bowl, that if a player performs dramaticlly, they cross over out of the narrow genre of hardcore sports fans. They become an American icon.
Steinberg also (briefly) discusses Mahomes' contract negotiations and how much the Chiefs' QB benefited from sitting behind Alex Smith for a year in 2017. You can listen to the entire conversation with Laurence Holmes right here, or in the embedded player below: