(NEW YORK) — Despite a 10-6 record in 2012, the Chicago Bears have fired head coach Lovie Smith.
Even though the Bears started 7-1, the Bears wound up missing the playoffs for the fifth time in the past six seasons. Usually 10-6 is good enough to make the playoffs, but the Packers and Vikings finished ahead of the Bears in the NFC North while the team dealt with injuries to key players.
In nine seasons, Smith went 81-63 and took the team to the Super Bowl in 2006. He was 3-3 in the playoffs during his time with the Bears.
“I think it’s going to be a sad day at Halas Hall,” Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said during “The Jay Cutler Show” on ESPN 1000. “I have a lot of respect for the guy. He’s made friends with a lot of the players. He’s a player’s coach. I think right now I’m a little surprised, a little sad. Wish I could have done more offensively to help him out.”
While the Bears seemed to always start the season hot, they would also fade away as the season went on. The team went 17-19 in December under Smith.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN