Former Bears coach Lovie Smith to interview with Bills
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org January 4, 2013 2:48PM
In this Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 photo, Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith stands on the sidelines before the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. The Chicago Bears fired Smith after nine seasons on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, parting ways with a coach who led them to a Super Bowl but also oversaw late collapses the past two seasons. The dismissal with one year left on his contract comes after Chicago missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Updated: February 5, 2013 6:38AM
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith doesn’t look like he’ll be unemployed for long.
Smith reportedly is set to interview with the Buffalo Bills, and the San Diego Chargers are also interested, according to ESPN reports.
Besides the Bears opening, there are currently six other NFL head-coaching vacancies.
Smith is guaranteed more than $5 million from the Bears for the 2013 season, and it’s believed any salary he collects from another team would be deducted from that amount.
According to a league source, Smith wants to be an NFL head coach in 2013, something the Bears are surely hoping for so they can save some money.
Smith was fired Monday. He was 81-63 in nine seasons but led the Bears to just one playoff appearance since 2007.
Many Bears were devastated to learn of Smith’s firing. He confirmed the news to his players during a five-minute speech Monday, thanking them and wishing them all well.
‘‘It was a sad speech,’’ Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman said. ‘‘In actuality, the honor was ours to have him coach us and lead us.
‘‘It was an honor and privilege and pleasure to play for Lovie Smith. Whatever team lands him, they are getting a steal.’’
The Bears already have interviewed at least three candidates to replace Smith: Atlanta Falcons special-teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan and New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.