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Phil Emery makes clear: Lovie Smith failed at building the offense

Phil Emery

Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery watches the warmups before an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


Lovie Smith is a good defensive coach who was never able to build a consistent offense in his nine seasons as head coach of the Bears, and that’s what cost him his job.

That’s what Bears General Manager Phil Emery made clear at his Tuesday morning press conference addressing his decision to fire Smith on Monday.

“Our No. 1 goal always has to be to win championships, and to win championships we have to be in contention on a consistent basis, and to be in contention we have to make the playoffs on a consistent basis. We’ve had defensive excellence, but during the course of coach Smith’s years here we’ve had one offense that was ranked in the top 15.”

Noting that Smith has failed to get results even after changing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks, Emery said it was time for a change to a coach who can succeed on both offense and defense, whereas Smith had only shown an ability to coach on the defensive side of the ball. Emery said the Bears’ ownership told him that the decision on Smith’s future was his and his alone, and that he decided Smith just wasn’t getting the job done.

“I made the decision to move forward in a different direction with our head football coach,” Emery said.

Emery didn’t name any candidates he’s considering, but he said he is casting a wide net including offensive assistants, defensive assistants and college coaches, and that he has already been in contact with some of the candidates. Whoever the next coach is, if he wants to please his new boss, he’d better find a way to put some points on the board.