One of the most surprising moves of Black Monday came out of the Windy City, as the Chicago Bears announced the firing of head coach Lovie Smith after nine seasons, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com:
Smith led the Bears to a 10-6 record this season, but a 3-5 finish following a 7-1 start kept them from making the playoffs for the second straight year and the fifth time in the last six years.
The firing was a shock just because the Bears did have a strong season and there really seemed to be no indication from anyone in the organization leading up to the final week of the season that Smith was in any danger.
But the franchise is looking towards the future now, so it is time to start breaking down all the potential candidates—both those reported to be on their list and those rumored to either have interest or who the team has interest in—to replace Smith.
Considering that the Bears did win 10 games in a very good division, are one of the most storied franchises in all of professional sports and have pieces in place to be good for a long time, filling the vacancy should not be difficult.
Here are the latest rumblings and grumblings surrounding the Bears and their search for a new head coach.