Smith knows he's on the hot seat

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Expect plenty of questions about Lovie Smith's future in the next five weeks. Since beginning the season 3-1, the Bears have lost six of seven, as calls for the head coach's job continue to pour in -- a fact not lost on Smith.

"I realize that we haven't played (that) well," Smith said Monday. "There were high hopes, especially after the way we started. We realize where we are."

How the Bears got to this point is another story, but we should remind everybody Smith did lead the Bears to a Super Bowl appearance and back-to-back division titles in 2005 and 2006. Should that matter in the eyes of Bears' management?

"I can talk a lot about this weekend," Smith said. "I'm looking short-term too. When you're in a situation like this, you don't look any further than that. All of your thoughts are occupied by trying to put a better product on the football field. That's about all I can talk about."

Putting a better product on the field probably means taking a pass on playing the likes of Juaquin Iglesias, Jarron Gilbert or D.J. Moore versus the Rams -- at least that was the impression Smith gave on Monday.

"We will play the guys who will give us the best chance to win this weekend," Smith said. "We play the guys that give us the best chance to win, that week. That's what we'll do this weekend."