As if Bears fans havent been unsettled enough watching their team the past six seasons, now they are left feeling uncomfortable, thinking about what comes next in terms of a search for a new head coach.
At least under Smith, fans felt protected and safe with something to cheer for along with the special teams. Offensively, it was quite another story watching their team bumble, stumble, and fumble around like the Three Stooges.
The coaching search now begins for fans, but has already been ongoing by Bears GM Phil Emery. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
One could make a compelling argument to retain or relieve Smith of his head coaching duties, but clearly the offensive failures led to his dismissal. In his nine seasons in Chicago, the highest ranking offensive achievement was in 20052006 during a Super Bowl run where the future looked bright.
Since then, the Bears have been unsettled at most when it came to offensive positions under Lovie Smith like: the offensive line, tight end, quarterback (until Cutler), and the wide receiver position other than acquiring Brandon Marshall prior to last year.
Marshall (1,508 yds, 11 tds) did finish third in the NFL in receiving yardage behind Detroits Calvin Johnson (1,964 yds, 5 tds) and a late push by Texans Andre Johnson (1,598 yds, 4 tds). Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice did feature his only receiving weapon by producing more scoring touchdowns than Calvin or Andre.
The Bears' only other weapon, running back Matt Forte, did rush for over 1,000 yards with five touchdowns, but was limited due to recurring ankle injuries early and late in the season.
In the end, the lack of scoring points, beating the Packers and not making the playoffs the last five of six seasons led to Smiths dismissal. Many potential candidates are already being reported to replace Smith. Their coaching backgrounds are all offense-based to take advantage of Cutler, Marshall, and Fortes skills, but will it be more unsettling to Bears fans if any of these candidates disrupt the defense?
The Bears would be wise to not stray from their rich defensive history after coming off a record-setting year. What if the Bears defense can no longer stop anybody under their new head coach? They no longer are feared as the Monsters of the Midway? Now that will be unsettling.