The Chicago Bears faced a steep grading curve in 2012 considering they had to make the playoffs or face a coaching change. When they started out 7-1, the curve became even steeper and made their ultimate collapse all the more severe.
Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery is known as a very meticulous, thorough worker and is living up to his reputation in his search for a Bears coach. In only three days, he's produced six candidates and likely has more on his initial interview list.
The Bears' season hit high peaks and low points, but the peaks all seemed to come before December, when the words "Super Bowl" got mentioned often at Halas Hall.
A new coaching staff with a different offensive system makes for uncertainty, so a schedule with seven games against 2012 playoff teams only adds to the difficulty ahead for the Chicago Bears.
Even teams that blow 7-1 starts to miss the playoffs and get their coach fired have MVPs. The Bears often have had seasons devoid of individual accomplishment, but plenty of players stood out in a season that once held so much promise.
A day after saying he might retire and expressed displeasure at Lovie Smith's firing, Chicago Bears record-setting return man Devin Hester on Tuesday clarified his statement without backing off of it.
The Chicago Bears' style of play may not look completely different in the future than in the past few years, even with Lovie Smith no longer the head coach.
All the major faults visible to anyone who saw Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears teams over the past nine seasons eventually combined to bring him down.
Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong is expected to interview for the Bears head coaching job, according to an ESPNChicago.com report.
The Bears, who fired head coach Lovie Smith on Monday, plan to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy this weekend.
The cover-2 defensive scheme became the signature defense of the Chicago Bears under coach Lovie Smith, and with his firing Monday it could signify the end of careers as well as an era in team history.
If anyone should feel angst over Monday's firing of coach Lovie Smith, it's Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler. After all, Cutler and coaching staff changes haven't gone together well in the past. It was Denver's coaching change to Josh McDaniels that led to Cutler's trade to Chicago.
Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester on Monday took the firing of coach Lovie Smith particularly hard as he cleaned out his locker for what could be the last time.
Lovie Smith coached half a Chicago Bears team for nine seasons, and as a result he was fired Monday by general manager Phil Emery. The Bears failed to make the playoffs five of the last six years.
Earning a respectable report card after being denied a playoff berth is a little like finding out you've aced the final exam but have flunked the course. Such is the case for the Bears.