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.Since Smith took over in 2004, the Bears have ranked higher than 23rd in offense only once. They have ranked 28th or lower four times. Although Chicago was lead by a slew of mediocre quarterbacks and four different offensive coordinators under Lovie's watch their lack of offensive output even after the addition of Pro Bowlers Jay Cutler in 2009 and Brandon Marshall in 2012 could no longer be ignored. Having beaten their NFC North division foe and arch rival Green Bay Packers only one time in the last nine matchups did not bode well for Smith either. Aaron Rodgers and his cheese-headed companions have simply owned the Bears since the former Cal quarterback took over for Brett Favre as the full time starter in 2008. Knocking the Bears out of their only postseason since 2006 in route to a 2010 Super Bowl Championship Green Bay's dominance over the Monsters of the Midway is another reason why Lovie had to go.New general manager Phil Emery made no secret of his intentions to immediately improve the Bears' struggling offense. Trading for perennial Pro Bowl receivers Brandon Marshall, Chicago's first 1,000-yard receiver since Marty Booker in 2002, drafting big-bodied, sure-handed South Carolina Game **** receiver Alshon Jeffery in the second round and adding bruising backup running back Michael Bush Emery finally surrounded Cutler with some explosive offensive fire power. Despite Chicago's improved arsenal Lovie and first-time play-caller offensive coordinator Mike Tice's 28th ranked offensive unit were once again carried to a 10-6 record on the shoulders of the Bears' top tier defense.   Narrowly ousted from the postseason as a result of an impressive Week 17 Minnesota Vikings victory over the Packers the Bears' organization and its fans deserve much more than a half hearted smile from Lovie Smith and a "we will try to do better next year" approach from their head coach. Kudos to GM Phil Emery for pulling the plug on a well-liked "player's coach" in favor of someone who will hopefully jump start the pathetic offense and catapult Chicago back into championship contention.                 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker