(WSCR) While many questions still linger around Halas Hall in the wake of Lovie Smith’s firing earlier this week, one thing is certain: Smith’s players loved playing for him.
Count Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman among those who carried a heavy heart when he learned Smith was done with the Bears after nine seasons.
“I was shocked like everybody else when he got fired,” Tillman told The Score’s Laurence Holmes. “I did my booing and crying, and my heart bled for him because you went 10-6 and got fired. We know this business is crazy at times. I’m sure he knew that at some point in time it had to come to an end. It’s just unfortunate it had to be now.”
LISTEN: Charles Tillman on The Laurence Holmes Show
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Wide receiver Devin Hester spoke out hours after Smith was canned, saying he was contemplating retirement. Tillman said this head coaching change could result in some drastic changes on the field for Bears players.
“I’m sure a lot of guys who are under contract or thought about leaving or were thinking about staying, now they might think about leaving,” Tillman said. “I’m sure a lot of that comes into their minds because there is a coach out there who’s going to come in and he’s going to take this team in the direction he feels to win a championship. Certain guys might not fit in that scheme. … It’ll be interesting to see how this offseason plays once they decide to hire a new coach.”
Moving forward, Tillman said he hopes the new head coach will allow the defense to continue doing what they did under Smith for the past decade.
“I saw the press conference that (general manager) Phil Emery did the other day,” Tillman said. “The thing I got from it is that he mainly talked about offense. He didn’t really touch on defense, right? … With that being said, I took his press conference as he was really just trying to address the offense. Hopefully, this new coach comes in and he addresses the offense and not really leaves the defense alone, but just makes sure we have a good D-coordinator and keep our same system. Hopefully, we’ll just continue what coach Smith has instilled in us.”