Just three NFL coaches have been with their teams longer than Lovie Smith has been with the Chicago Bears.
Hired in 2004, Smith has been a source of stability in the organization for nine seasons. Bears teams under Smith have gone 75-58, including a 4-1 start in 2012.
Smith's latest contract with the team expires at the end of this season. On Wednesday, Bears general manager Phil Emery was asked to shed light on a report that Smith and the team are discussing a new deal.
"That's an interesting word, light, because I kind of took that lighthearted when I heard it," Emery said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "I said, 'Geez, even if that was true, when would we have gotten that done?' "
"Coach Smith is very focused on improving his team on a daily basis," Emery went on. "All the things that he does in terms of myself, my 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 kind of conversations."
Smith isn't mentioned in the same breath as the game's best coaches, but the Bears have been consistently competitive during his run with the team. If Smith leads this Bears team into the postseason, expect Chicago to pony up.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.