Bears will give Lovie Smith a contract extension

A trip to the NFC Championship Game did more than save Lovie Smith’s job this season, it will earn him an extension.

The Chicago Bears failed to make the playoffs the last three seasons and Smith was under pressure to win in 2010 – or else – and he delivered by guiding the team to its third NFC North title in his seven years. Now, the club will look to give Smith, who is signed through 2011, a new contract.

“We very much want to extend Lovie,” general manager Jerry Angelo said Monday. “That will be part of the business at hand in these next several weeks.”

The Bears made questionable decisions in losing to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, costing them a trip to Super Bowl XLV. But the defense made a resurgence this season and Angelo saw plenty in an 11-5 regular season to commit further to Smith.

Whether or not Smith’s staff remains en tact remains to be seen. There has been turnover every year he has been on the job since 2004. Only five coaches in the league are more tenured than him now.

“I think when you have a successful year, people look at your staff,” Smith said. “I’m hoping that we’ll be able to keep our same staff in place. But it seems like that never happens.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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