You were expecting Bill Parcells or Bill Cowher?
Phil Emery looked the part Monday at Halas Hall: the nice, safe, typical Bears choice as their new general manager: He's not Jerry Angelo; He embraced Lovie Smith as his head coach; He likes the scouting staff and everything else at Halas Hall; He's a team player who won't throw his new-found weight around; he offered good ideas with no specifics; and he's a first-time GM whom the Bears didn't have to break the bank to sign.
Those are first impressions based upon Emery's introductory press conference. Sometimes those can be deceiving. If the Bears fail to make the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons since going to the Super Bowl in 2006, then we'll know if the earth has moved at Halas Hall. Or if they've just hired a new Jerry Angelo with a little better stage presence.
Other than that, there wasn't much to go on. Emery wants to win championships. He wants to build a consistent contender. He plans to build through the draft. He will specify roles for everybody under his authority and hold them responsible for meeting specified standards. There was no further insight into the ''depth of vision'' that separated him from the other candidates Ted Phillips considered for the job.
That doesn't mean he'll fail. It just means he's no different than any other general manager or personnel honcho the Bears have hired since Jim Finks left the organization in 1984 after acquiring 21 starters who would win Super Bowl XX.
Here are some of the highlights from Emery's press conference:
On the ''standard'' for Lovie Smith in 2012:
''I don't look at it in terms of standards ... My whole mindset is I'm here to help this team. I'm a teammate. Yes I'm in a leadership role. But I'm here to provide support, help, guidance and talent towards winning championships. I'm going to do all [I can] to develop within that role and to sync with coach Smith and to help bring those championships.''
On his role as general manager:
''Our goal is to win championships. We will have clear roles in this quest. When you define their roles and set a standard for them and the standard for them is to develop expertise in their roles. They will be evaluated and be held accountable just as I am evaluated and held accountable. And that will permeate throughout our organization. It's my job at every level of the football operations department -- personnel, coaching, video, athletic training staff, equipment staff, player programs -- to hold everybody to that standard.''
On upgrading weaknesses in the current roster:
''When it comes time to publicly assess our needs or publicly talk about players that we may target, we will not do that. Because I feel that's a competitive disadvantage to do so. We will know internally what our needs are. We will know internally the players we are going to target. We will not give away our competitive advantage to outline who those individuals are or at what position they are.''
On using the franchise tag on Matt Forte:
''[The franchise tag] is a tool that has been collectively bargained, that is fair to the player and fair to the club. That's part of the collective bargaining agreement. It is a tool. That doesn't mean we're gonna use it.''
On his decision-making style -- is he a consensus-builder or the ultimate authority?
''There's going to be a lot of voices that are involved. It'll be very professional. It'll be very thoughtful. It'll be people working together. We may have disagreements. But the professionalism comes in learning how to agree to disagree, and move on to the next player, where we can find a common ground and that player fits our system, our coaches, our community. It will be segmented.''
So if everybody in the room likes, say, Michael Floyd and you like someone else, which player do the Bears draft?
We're going to draft the best player for the Chicago Bears. Do I have a voice in it? Absolutely. But one thing I've learned is that listening to voices that you've tasked with an expertise is awfully important. And if you rely on yourself all the time... sometimes, you need that outside voice, to open up your mind to other possibilities. And I'm very open to those discussions.
There will reach a point during this process, where it will be coach Smith and myself developing the plan at the end. And it will be on players that him and I agree upon, in sync, that these are the right players for the Bears. That's where the heaviest influence will come.''
On catching up to the Packers:
''What we want to do is look at our team and add players, add playmakers. If we keep doing that, and primarily through the college draft, and fill in where we see strengths in pro free agency, we'll close the gap. And that's what our focus is: Find the right players for us, and that gap will get closed.''
On having the authority to make changes on all aspects of the football operations:
I do have that authority. But again, am I going to hold people to standards and evaluate them in an everyday, in terms of their contributions to our goal, absolutely. Is my [thinking], 'Jeez, I've got this authority, so I need to use it everyday?' No, my [mindset is] using my position of leadership in helping people reach those goals. To be an educator, to be a leader.''
On having control of the 53-man roster:
''I have full control, yes. But again, that's where my
head's at. My head's at working with coach Smith towards developing consistent championships.''