Speaking Tuesday with ESPN 1000's "The Waddle & Silvy Show," Chicago Bears president Ted Phillips said he needs to see "progress" from the team this season in order for coach Lovie Smith to keep his job. But Phillips stopped short of saying the Bears need to make the playoffs.
"At the end of last year -- it was a disappointing year -- I think I made the comment that status quo is not acceptable," Phillips said. "Everyone believes in that. What does that mean? I can't put a number of wins on it. Obviously, the goal every year is to get to the playoffs to give us a chance to get to the Super Bowl. That remains the goal. At the end of the year we'll take a look at everything. What I want to see is that we're headed in the right direction. There's obviously a lot of factors that go into that."
Remember our discussion from a few weeks ago. With a lockout looming in 2011, no NFL team wants to pay two coaches -- the former to walk away, and the new one to take over -- if there are no games being played. That dynamic could work in Smith's favor regardless of how this season turns out.