Bears GM Phil Emery explains why Lovie Smith was fired

Of all the head coaches fired Monday -- there were seven total -- no one generated more discussion with Eye on Football commenters than Lovie Smith. And while we haven't read through all 368 (and counting) of them, the general message seems to be some variation of "Lovie probably deserved to be canned; the Bears had missed the playoffs in five of the last six seasons and the buck stops with him."

Devin Hester may have disagreed, but he was in the minority. And that includes general manager Phil Emery, the man responsible for giving Smith his walking papers.

“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," he said Tuesday (via PFT). "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.”

Remember when dumping Mike Martz was supposed to fix the offense? It didn't happen with his replacement, Mike Tice, although Emery says he wasn't pointing fingers.

"I'm not looking to blame anybody," he said, but noted that "Jay [Cutler] has won a lot of games. We need to build around him."

Now Emery is tasked with finding Smith's replacement. He didn't name possible replacements, but we know at least one candidate: Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who is scheduled to interview this weekend.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the Pick-6 Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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