Lovie Smith: "I feel great about the extension"

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Newly extended Bears head coach Lovie Smith was the first speaker at the NFL Combine this morning and naturally, questions started with the news of his two-year contract extension.

Smith deflected praise for the playoff season to his players. "The hard work put in by our players and coaches put me in position to get this extension."

When asked about the Bears plans this offseason, Smith wasn't hesitant.

"We always go into free agency trying to get impact players. We'll do the same this year."

If there is a season, that is.  

Not surprisingly, he mentioned the Bears biggest need. "Offensive line is one of the areas we want to improve", said Smith, in the understatement of the year.

Smith also defended Jay Cutler's toughness at the presser. He is clearly getting frustrated with that line of questioning. "For guys to even challenge that, they don't know what they're talking about."

As for the Packers, "We were beaten by the better team that day", said Lovie.

And, in his best Dave Wannstedt impression, he offered that, "I think the core's in place." Sure, he didn't say the infamous "all the pieces are in place," but it was close enough to shudder a bit.

Smith also said that he thought the receivers did a good job and especially praised Greg Olsen. Hopefully, that won't deter Jerry Angelo from persuing a wideout either in the draft or via free agency.
 
And I'll leave you with this scary observation, Bears fans. When asked if 2011 was a must-win season for the Bears, Lovie replied: "Not Really."
 
Uh-oh.
 
Hat tip to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com and Zach Zaidman of WSCR for the quotes from the combine via Twitter.

Filed under: Interviews

Tags: Lovie Smith

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