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Bears

Emery Denies Lovie Smith Contract Extension Talks

Bears Coach Lovie Smith looks on during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field on September 25, 2011. (Credit: Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

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(CBS) Bears general manager Phil Emery denied Wednesday that the Bears have had discussions with head coach Lovie Smith about a contract extension.

“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 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 and moving forward with that. That applies not only to our players but to our head coach and our coaching staff.”

Emery’s comments came in the wake of a report from 670 The Score’s Terry Boers, which indicated the two sides have held preliminary discussions about a two-year extension.

“I kinda took that lighthearted when I heard it,” Emery said. “I says, ‘You know, geez, even if that was true, when would we have gotten that done?’ I mean, Coach Smith is very focused on improving this team on a daily basis — all the things that he does. In terms of myself, mindset is with the personnel group and working with the coaches and making sure we have the right people on the roster on a daily basis. Going out to colleges, doing visitations, getting ready for the next NFL draft. There’s not enough hours in the day to have those type of conversations and that’s pretty much where we’re at.”

Meanwhile, Smith remained mum on the topic when asked.

“There’s no need for me to even talk on that and I really shouldn’t,” the head coach said. “I’ve never talked about my contract during the course of the year so there’s nothing to talk about. It’s amazing how things can become fact when there’s nothing to back that up. So I have no idea what you’re talking about number one, so how can I respond on that?”