Mike Ditka expressed his disapproval of the Chicago Bears' decision to fire their coach, Lovie Smith. If there's anyone who knows what it takes to be a great coach in Chicago it is Ditka, who is the Bears' second-winningest coach of all-time behind George Halas. Third on that list is Lovie Smith, who won 81 games in nine seasons.
Ditka told ESPN 1000, "I think Lovie is a very good coach ... Everybody is a little bit different in their manner." After starting the season 7-1, the Bears finished at 10-6. Chicago missed out on the playoffs despite having the same record as the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins, who are both headed to the postseason. Ditka went on to say,
"If Minnesota would have lost last night and the Bears were in the playoffs this wouldn't have happened. That's a fact. So how stupid is it then? It really is stupid. If they would have made the playoffs this would not have happened. They did what they did. They took care of their business and Minnesota played a great game against Green Bay."
Ditka also noted that whomever the Bears choose to hire will have an easier job than most new coaches. Chicago missed the playoffs by just one win, and the Bears' defense was one of the league's best. In 2012, Chicago allowed just 17.3 points per game, which ranked third-lowest in the NFL.