Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 12/31/12
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Several other coaches have already fallen on "Black Monday," but none more surprising than Lovie Smith.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports the now-former Bears coach has been fired after nine seasons.

The news is surprising given that Smith is coming off a 10-6 season and has accumulated an 81-63 career record, including a Super Bowl appearance. However, his downfall appeared to be the team's slide this season, missing the playoffs following a 7-1 start.

Furthermore, general manager Phil Emory, hired last year, is looking to bring in his own guy for the job. It's rare for GMs to come in and stick with the previous regime's staff. A new direction is almost always warranted.

While Smith is a noted defensive guru, his offensive prowess isn't nearly as impressive. The Bears' offenses have underwhelmed under Smith's watch, largely hamstringing a club that's missed out on the postseason in five of the last six seasons.

There's little sentiment remaining in the wake of Smith's firing; the organization is moving quickly to secure his replacement. FOX Sports' Jay Glazer says the team has received permission to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

As for Smith, there's little doubt he'll latch on elsewhere in 2013. His resume all but guarantees him a defensive coordinator position. He'll have plenty of suitors interested in his services.

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