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NFL Black Monday Open Thread: News from Halas Hall, and around the league

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Quotes from Lovie Smith's press conference:

- "Brian (Urlacher) has a MCL sprain, and he's getting an MRI right now as I speak."

- "Starting this New Year, we are 1-0; We have to catch up to Green Bay, our rival."

- "We will start our evaluation process looking at the coaches, then the players."

- On Mike Martz: "Haven't had a chance to sit and talk and find out which way he wants to go, and which way we want to go."

Lovie Smith made a point to focus on the fact that the team was 7-3 to start the season, and that a slew of injuries were a bit too much to overcome. He noted the team will be adding a couple of 1st round offensive linemen and a franchise QB to the lineup in 2012. He feels that the OL is in the best position it's been in since he's been in Chicago.

Smith also said that the evaluation process would begin immediately... First he will meet with Jerry Angelo and Ted Phillips, then the coaching staff, then the players. Angelo is expected to address the media later in the week.

Some other interesting stories circulating through the league today:

- Colts owner Jim Irsay cleaning house, including both Polians.

- Teams now have seven-day windows to sign players from their Practice Team to futures contracts. Brad Biggs is reporting the Bears have done so with TE Draylon Ross, and G Reggie Stephens..

- Zach Zaidman has been asking some Bears players about their future with the team... Their responses here.

- Not surprisingly, there was lots of drama in the Jets camp today. Read about it here (updated link).

- Brad Biggs has a great quote from 1993 when Mike Martz was asked about Lovie Smith's future: "He has everything you have to be looking for in a head coach. For him not to be considered as a top candidate is absurd. He has great leadership, he has a calming influence on players. Has great connection with players, yet he is not their friend. He's very discipline-oriented, organized, intelligent." And here we are eight years later, when Lovie will be asked about Martz's future...

- Hue Jackson throws his players under the bus in Oakland.

- Jay Glazer reporting a couple of firings here.

Stay tuned for more updates...