Emery: Bears, Smith not talking extension

Lovie Smith (Rob&nbps;Grabowski/USP)

Despite earlier reports to the contrary, GM Phil Emery says the team is not currently discussing a contract extension with head coach Lovie Smith.

It was reported earlier this week that the Chicago Bears and head coach Lovie Smith were in talks for a possible contract extension. According to GM Phil Emery, those reports are false.

"I kind of took that lighthearted when I heard it," Emery said today. "I said, ‘Geez, even if that was true, when would we have gotten that done?' There's not enough hours in the day to have those kind of conversations."

Under former GM Jerry Angelo, the club wasn't afraid to extend players mid-season. Just last season alone, Roberto Garza, Earl Bennett and Edwin Williams were extended.

Yet that's not how Emery conducts his business.

"My preference is to do these things at the end of the year," he said. "There may be a situation where it's to the club's advantage and the player's advantage to do something during the season, but my preference and most often that's better to wait until the end of the year until you have a full evaluation in moving forward with that. That applies not only to our players but to our head coach and our coaching staff."

Emery said he's happy with Smith's work this season.

"I think all of us need to keep improving. That's where I've been really impressed with coach Smith. He takes great ownership for this team. He keeps pushing all the right buttons, not only coaching his players and inter-relating with his players, but coaching his coaches. Working with us in personnel. Those are the key improvements that I'm looking for, moving forward. Do we earn it each and every week, like we talked about in august. And so far the answer has been yes."

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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