Lovie hopes assistants get opportunities

Lovie Smith hopes the Bears' success opens up opportunities for assistants such as offensive coordinator Mike Martz. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Change is constant in the NFL.

When an organization suffers through a playoff drought, coaches and executives lose their jobs.

When a franchise is successful, coaches and executives tend to leave their current jobs for better ones.

So it's fair to wonder if the Bears' 11-5 record might lead to some offseason turnover on Lovie Smith's staff. Would teams in search of a head coach possibly want to interview current Bears assistants such as Mike Tice, Mike Martz or Dave Toub?

"Hope so, when you have success you want others to reap the benefits from it," Smith said Thursday. "Our guys have done a great job. I'm talking about our staff to a man. Hopefully somebody will want to look at someone of our staff. I always try to promote that, encourage it, so hopefully it will happen."

NFL rules allow teams to interview a postseason participant's assistants during the wild card week for teams who are on bye. Teams may also request interviews with assistants during the first week of Super Bowl preparations, granted there is a two-week break between the conference title games and the Super Bowl. The Bears refused to comment Thursday on whether any team had requested permission to interview an assistant.

A Bears assistant has never left for an NFL head-coaching gig under Smith, although former assistants Ron Rivera and Perry Fewell are drawing interest. Rivera came the closest to landing a top NFL job after the 2006 Super Bowl season, but that never materialized, and his contract was not renewed.