Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/4/13

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 04: Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears call defensive plays as his team takes on the Detroit Lions on October 4, 2009 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 48-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The long overdue firing of Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith following the team's fifth missed postseason in the last six years has sparked some intense reactions from both players and fans alike. It's no secret that the mild-mannered Smith earned a reputation as a "player's coach" and gained the respect and support from his locker room over his nine year tenure in Chicago."I have a lot of respect for the guy. He's made friends with a lot of the players. He's a players' coach. I think right now I'm a little surprised, a little sad. Wish I could have done more offensively to help him out," remarked Jay Cutler upon hearing the news of Smith's dismissal.However, approval from his subordinates and a 81-63 overall record as the Bears' head coach aren't enough to stick with Smith moving forward. Since winning the NFC in 2006 and subsequently losing Super Bowl XLI 29-17 to Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts, Lovie's Bears have done little in the way of returning to championship form.Si...
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