Lovie Smith focused on Packers

Updated: December 12, 2012, 4:23 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- With his team on a two-game losing streak, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith refused to discuss his contract status Wednesday as the team prepares for a pivotal matchup Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

"Let's stop you right there. Why in the world would we be talking about a contract with Green Bay week here?" Smith said. "What I can talk about is I'm excited about playing the Packers again. We need to (be); they've had our number for awhile and it's your division opponent, your rival and you need to beat them.

"All we are talking about is that. For me, and anybody else to talk about anything that's just related to that person, we don't do it that way."

In his ninth season, Smith, who has an 82-65 record, is under contract through the 2013 season. The Bears have missed the playoffs four of the past five seasons, and there is speculation that he needs to get the Bears back to the postseason to secure a contract extension. That seemed likely when the Bears started 7-1, but they have dropped four of their past five games, plagued by injuries and an ineffective offense.

On Monday, Smith said that he is OK with his future being tied to his win-loss record.

"I think every day I've been here, each day I think (when) all of us come to work we are going to do the best job that we possibly can," Smith said. "All of our futures are tied, it's all based on wins and losses, really, and I'm OK with that."

The Bears are facing a Packers team that has had great success against Chicago in recent years. The Bears won six of their first eight games against the Packers under Smith, but are 3-9 since, including a loss in the 2011 NFC Championship Game.

Smith said he wasn't planning radical changes to get his slumping team, which has fallen to the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff picture, back on track against Green Bay.

"We're an 8-5 team, that's what we are," Smith said. "That record is better than a lot of teams. If the playoffs started today, we would be in the playoffs. So why would we make drastic changes? If you look at the last game we played, and I hate to go back to the last game (a 23-10 loss on Sept. 13), (we missed) a couple plays here and there.

"It's not like we are playing terrible football. We're going to tighten up a few things, which we are doing, that's our routine, and we're going to win a few football games and everything is going to be OK."

The Packers can clinch the NFC North title with a victory at Soldier Field. The Bears wrap up the regular season with road games against the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions.

"Look at our schedule right now," Smith said. "A lot of teams would like to be in the position we are in right now, believe me. There are three games left in the season, and you guys are in the playoffs right now, and all you have to do is win three football games. I think most guys would take that.

"So don't feel sorry for the Chicago Bears. We are in great shape. No, we are not going to get rid of any coaches, we're going to try and keep as many of our players as we possibly can and we are going to win some football games."

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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