YouWager has learned that the Chicago Bears have let go coach Lovie Smith.
The Bears have asked for and received permission to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy for their new head coaching vacancy.
Moreover, Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong will be interviewed by the Bears as well. Armstrong was on Chicago’s staff from 1997-2000 while Emery was a scout for the the team from 1998-2004. They also overlapped with Atlanta.
Furthermore, the team has also asked for and received permission to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan this week.
The 54 year-old coach has already been contacted by four teams interested in having him interview for a head coaching position. Thus far no interviews are being set up because most teams are talking to assistants who are available and coaches who are involved with the bye week of the NFL playoffs. Those teams will likely contact Smith later to set up formal interviews.
Chicago missed the playoffs for the fifth time in the last six seasons despite starting this season 7-1. The team also finished 10-6 but were denied a playoff spot when the Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
The native of texas, who led Chicago to the Super Bowl after the 2006 season, was 81-63 over eight regular seasons and was 3-3 in the playoffs. Smith was under contract through the present year, and general manager Phil Emery did not engage the coach in contract talks on an extension during the season.
The team’s assistants, which all remain under contract, were told to stay at Halas Hall in their respective offices until further notice.