He was much like Tony Dungy in that regard. Dungy was the same coach in Tampa that Smith was in Chicago. And then Dungy took a job that had offensive coordinator Tom Moore and quarterback Peyton Manning in place.
There didn't seem to be a way out of the offensive tar pit for the Bears as long as Smith was the coach. A fifth offensive coordinator would not have been the answer.
Really, all of this was evident one year ago. Nothing has changed.
If the Bears wanted to whack Smith, they should have done it last January, when George McCaskey took out Jerry Angelo's knees. It would have been much cleaner that way — bring in a new GM and head coach in tandem and get everyone working together from the start.
But it also would have been more expensive that way. So now Emery's program gets delayed one year.
It's possible Mike McCoy or Keith Armstrong or Mike Sullivan or one of the other assistants who will interview with Emery will come to the Bears and end up with a better record than Smith. Maybe one of those coaches finally can get the offense right.
But teams once had those kinds of hopes for Tony Sparano, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur, Bobby Petrino, Josh McDaniels, Steve Spagnuolo and dozens of others.
Coaches like Smith are not easy to find. Someday, if not today, a lot of people around here are going to realize that.