Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
With Lovie Smith being fired, what happens with his assistant coaches? Did they get relieved of their duties as well? I haven't heard anything about them. Will they return next season?
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Bears' assistant coaches were not fired along with Lovie Smith and remain under contract with the team. However, it's very rare for a new head coach to retain assistants from the previous regime. The new head coach normally brings in his own staff. I recall that Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron both retained the special teams coordinator from the previous coaching staff in Danny Abramowicz when Wannstedt took over from Mike Ditka in 1993 and Keith Armstrong when Jauron replaced Wannstedt in 1999.
Prior to this year, what was the best record the Bears compiled while not making the playoffs?
Since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger, the Bears have twice failed to qualify for the playoffs with a 9-7 record, under Dave Wannstedt in 1995 and Lovie Smith in 2008. This season was the first time they failed to earn a postseason berth with a 10-6 mark.
I was hoping to see the Bears play a playoff game in San Francisco this weekend and am very disappointed the season is over. I can't remember the last time the Bears played a playoff game on the road. Can you please jog my memory?
The Bears' last road playoff game was in San Francisco, ironically, when they lost to the 49ers in the divisional round 44-15 to conclude the 1994 season. Since then, the Bears have played six playoff games at Soldier Field and one at a neutral site, Super Bowl XLI in Miami.