Biggs: Bears expected to bring Smith back

The Bears have called a press conference for 2 p.m. on Tuesday at which they are expected to announce that Lovie Smith will return in 2010 for his seventh season as the coach of the franchise.

Smith huddled in high-level meetings Monday at Halas Hall with team president Ted Phillips and general manager, and it’s believed discussions were likely held about changes that will need to take place.

Most expect offensive coordinator Ron Turner to be a fall guy, along with quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton. Smith may have to seek out a defensive coordinator. He served in that role as well this season and the Bears continued to have struggles on defense.

It’s been five years since the team had a major shakeup on the offensive side of the ball, and Angelo has said that decisions need to be made with the interest of developing quarterback Jay Cutler.

Smith is 23-25 since guiding the Bears to Super Bowl XLI three seasons ago, and a case to remove him can be built around the trouble the team has had on defense. Smith has had a strong voice in the draft room and the Bears have struggled coming up with impact players. The Bears lost four games by 20 points or more this season for the first time since 1997, and the team blew three fourth-quarter leads.

Angelo told reporters two weeks ago that his decision would not be based on money. The Bears owe Smith $11 million as he is signed through 2011. But his decision was a recommendation to Phillips and the McCaskey family. He doesn’t have the final say in the process, and it will be interesting to see if Phillips acknowledges how the decision to bring back Smith was made. Stay tuned.

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