Bears GM Phil Emery defends decision on Lovie Smith

Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery isn't going to let the several voices criticizing his firing of head coach Lovie Smith to cause him to rethink the decision.

He made up his mind, and is pretty adamant about why he did it. While he had no qualms about Smith on the defensive side of the ball, building a good offense was another story.

“Our No. 1 goal always has to be to win championships, and to win championships we have to be in contention on a consistent basis, and to be in contention we have to make the playoffs on a consistent basis", Emery said at his first press conference of the year. 

"We’ve had defensive excellence, but during the course of coach Smith’s years here we’ve had one offense that was ranked in the top 15.”

The bottom line for Emery: He wants a coach that can succeed in building both a good defense and offense, and Smith wasn't able to do that, despite changing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks, according to Emery. “I made the decision to move forward in a different direction with our head football coach."

While Emery didn't personally shed any light on potential candidates, a couple of names have surfaced. ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed that Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will interview over the weekend, and Falcons special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong has a meeting planned as well, according to's Michael C. Wright. 

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