Lovie Smith has escaped the consequences of a season in which the Chicago Bears missed the playoffs and made headlines because of the drug arrest of Sam Hurd, but Jerry Angelo has not.
The team announced that Angelo is out as general manager and that Smith, who has two years remaining on his contract, will return as coach, despite the Bears’ disappointing 8-8 finish. Whether his offensive coordinator, Mike Martz, will return is a matter that is still to be determined.
The team said, in a statement on its website that Smith would “continue to evaluate his coaching staff.”
The move marks an especially busy firing season in the NFL. It follows Monday’s firings of coaches Raheem Morris in Tampa Bay and Steve Spagnuolo in St. Louis as well as team officials Bill and Chris Polian in Indianapolis.
During Angelo’s 11-year reign, the Bears advanced to the NFC Championship Game in January, losing to the Green Bay Packers. They also had a Super Bowl under Angelo in 2006 and won four division titles.
This season, injuries to running back Matt Forte and quarterback Jay Cutler (as well as Johnny Knox) exposed a roster that was lacking in depth. Team president Ted Phillips and Vice Chairman George McCaskey have scheduled a press conference for later today.
Colts: Bill and Chris Polian fired
Bucs: Raheem Morris fired
Rams: Steve Spagnuolo fired
NFL Draft: Order for non-playoff teams set