Plenty of Chicago Bears fans are hoping for a top-down regime change initiated by general manager Phil Emery at Halas Hall during the off-season, but Bears players are focused on getting the win in Week 17 against the Lions and protecting their relationship with head coach Lovie Smith. The fall from 7-1 to 9-6 has been harsh, but the Bears can still make the playoffs if they win on Sunday and get some additional help from the Green Bay Packers. Many people believe it will be almost impossible for Lovie Smith to keep his job if the Bears fail to make the post-season for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
Despite his lack of success in recent years, it can always be said that Lovie Smith gets his players to play hard. His Tampa-2-style defense has successfully generated turnovers at a higher rate than any other unit during his tenure in Chicago, so his coaching value goes beyond motivational skills. In any case, the NFL is a business based on production, and Smith has come up short in that department too many times over the past six years. However, Lance Briggs still thinks the players can save Lovie's job by getting a win on Sunday and hopefully stumbling into the post-season (via ESPN Chicago):
"If you've enjoyed your time here in Chicago, and the way that (coach) Lovie (Smith) has treated you and us together and this camaraderie that we have, then win for that. If Lovie's not here, that goes with him."
"I've enjoyed every moment of being here in Chicago, and I don't intend on that changing," Briggs said. "So it's time to go out and beat Detroit."
The Lions host the Bears in Week 17, and Lovie Smith will be looking to improve his 80-63 mark and help the team earn a fourth playoff appearance during his time as head coach of the Bears.