Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith on Sunday spoke of how the Bears are in control of their playoff destiny. After their loss against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the Bears’ chances of making the playoffs dropped to around 65% to 70%. Meaning that the Bears are still in a good position to earn a playoff spot in the NFC conference. The Bears have three games remaining on their schedule: at home against the Green Bay Packers, then on the road against the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions. Simple calculations would show that the Bears need to win at least two of their final three games to make the playoffs. If the Bears were to lose to the Packers next Sunday, that would put the Bears in a position where the team would have to win their final two games in order to make the playoffs. The Arizona Cardinals proved yesterday with their defeat to the Seattle Seahawks that the Alabama Crimson Tide could defeat them; so, I would expect the Bears to have no issue in defeating Arizona. The focus would then come on the Detroit Lions. The Lions are not going to make the playoffs this season. However, you can bet that the Lions would be eager for an opportunity to be the reason why the Bears’ do not make the playoffs either. The rivalry between the Bears and Lions is one that has grown in recent seasons, and figures to only continue. That rivalry game between the Lions and Bears will have added meaning as it is likely that the Bears will be facing a “win and in” scenario. Not only will the Bears be striving for a payoff spot in their final game of the season, but the team will also be striving for Lovie Smith to remain as the head coach of the Chicago Bears.
There has been numerous reporters speculating after yesterday’s loss to the Vikings on whether or not Smith will remain as the head coach of the Bears if the team does not make the playoffs. That is a silly topic to speculate on because we already have an answer to that question. When Phil Emery was named as the Bears’ general manager, Bears’ President Ted Phillips forced Emery to retain Smith for at least the 2012 season; but the Bears’ President also put an ultimatum on Smith in saying that the Bears need to make the playoffs this season or else the head coach would be fired. For this article alone, lets operate under the assumption that the Bears will not make the playoffs. A scenario that is likely if the Bears lose to the Packers and Lions in the coming weeks. With the Bears not making the playoffs, that would mean that Smith would be fired as the Head Coach of the Chicago Bears.
My question to all of you–the readers–is who will be the next head coach of the Bears. There will be no shortage of candidates for the position. Veteran coaches such as Andy Reid, Jon Gruden, Sean Payton, Rex Ryan, and Bill Cowher may all be available to the Bears as potential candidates. But remember, if the Bears fire Smith, that means the front office would still have to pay him for the 2013 season. It does not seem likely that the Bears will want be paying for two high-priced coaches. Meaning the Bears could go the same route they did when they hired Smith in 2004, which is finding a young coordinator on a coaching staff that is ready to be a head coach in the National Football League. In the end, that is what I expect the Bears to do if indeed Smith is fired.
What do you think the Bears will do if the Smith is fired?