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posted: 1/1/2013 5:29 AM

Would Bears have kept Smith if he made playoffs?

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By Mike North
The Rebel Insider

Time for a do-over.

I had just finished writing my column about how I thought Lovie Smith should stay as the head coach of the Chicago Bears. I cited 10 wins, and figured we could do a lot worse.

Lovie, though, wasn't general manager Phil Emery's guy.

I have no problem with Smith being gone, but if the Green Bay Packers had beaten the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Smith would be preparing for the playoffs right now.

Would he have been let go if the Bears made the playoffs after the season was over? I don't know. The fact is the Bears have a lot of money tied up in offensive players that haven't progressed the way the hierarchy had hoped.

Injuries can be blamed along with an older team with fading stars, but the fact is Lovie Smith was a defensive coach. Guys like Jay Cutler, Devin Hester and Matt Forte and others on offense never really got better. Brandon Marshall was the only star on offense who showed up every week.

Also say goodbye to most, if not all, of the assistant coaches. A full house cleaning is in order, and look for some players such as Devin Hester to be moved.

Now, who will be the next head coach of the Chicago Bears? It should be an interesting off-season. Hmmm I wonder what Mike Ditka is doing?

New school vs. old school

Tony Romo fans have to finally admit he can't get it done. RG3 and the Washington Redskins are going to the playoffs along with Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and Andrew Luck of Indy.

These young quarterbacks make guys like Cutler, Romo, and Michael Vick look like relics. Don't worry, though, the veteran quarterback club is well represented with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.

I do think it is fun to have some teams in the playoffs that don't usually get in, such as the Redskins, the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Other old-school teams are out too, such as the New York Giants, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints. It's going to be a great playoff run and my dark horse team to win the Super Bowl is the Redskins at a very good price of about 30 to 1.

New Year's Day picks

I'm going to give readers of the Daily Herald a couple of winners to consider for New Year's Day games. Take the Northwestern Wildcats (-1) over Mississippi State. Also, I like Nebraska (+9) over Georgia. And, of course, take Northern Illinois getting (13 ) in the Orange Bowl against a Florida State team.

Good luck and have a great New Year's!

Program note:

Look for me on Mancow's show on Ch. 50 (WPWR) at 6 a.m. Friday.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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