Chicago Sun-Times

New GM Phil Emery just the guy Bears were looking for

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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.''

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9 Comments

Just shoot me now.

Phillips "leader" does not set standards or demand goals be met? lol YIKES.

Teddy said: "I said the same thing I said to Angelo I expect you and Lovie to work together to find the best team..." HOW'D THAT WORK OUT FOR YA? no change no learning

Phillips is a liar. He wants the "Patriot Way" but Emery has zero experience with the Patriots. YOU Teddy are accountable for giving us Angelo and now this clown. YOU must go if this does not make Bears turn around fast. I fear until the Clampetts sell the team we will continue to be a joke.

Emery named key influences as Ruskell and Angelo. UGH! lol

A glorified scout is all he is just like Angelo. A gym teacher weight trainer.

The more things stay the same the more they stay the same at Halas Hall. Hire a friend. Ruskell-Angelo-Phillips tree.

Yawn. Vanilla. Zzzzzzz no guts no glory no boldness. Same old same old.

Fire Phillips or hire a VP of football operations (who is a football guy) to hire the next GM and head coach.

At least he comes from a 40 year losing franchise.

This guy was not on my long or short list. But then like Angelo nobody else in the NFL was looking at him. I hope I am wrong and he does great but it would be a shock.

Phillips "leader" does not set standards or demand goals be met? lol YIKES.

Teddy said: "I said the same thing I said to Angelo I expect you and Lovie to work together to find the best team..." HOW'D THAT WORK OUT FOR YA? no change no learning

Phillips is a liar. He wants the "Patriot Way" but Emery has zero experience with the Patriots. YOU Teddy are accountable for giving us Angelo and now this clown. YOU must go if this does not make Bears turn around fast. I fear until the Clampetts sell the team we will continue to be a joke.

Emery named key influences as Ruskell and Angelo. UGH! lol

A glorified scout is all he is just like Angelo. A gym teacher weight trainer.

The more things stay the same the more they stay the same at Halas Hall. Hire a friend. Ruskell-Angelo-Phillips tree.

Yawn. Vanilla. Zzzzzzz no guts no glory no boldness. Same old same old.

Fire Phillips or hire a VP of football operations (who is a football guy) to hire the next GM and head coach.

At least he comes from a 40 year losing franchise.

This guy was not on my long or short list. But then like Angelo nobody else in the NFL was looking at him. I hope I am wrong and he does great but it would be a shock.

Its gonna be interesting to see how Phil Emery handles the whole Matt Forte situation. The fact Forte made the Pro-Bowl helps his case, the fact he had a knee injury doesn't. The weird thing is, Forte got the knee injury vs Emery's old team, the Chiefs. I think Chicago will tag Forte, thanks to the injury, probably to see how he performs this season, after the injury. If Forte comes in and makes another Pro-Bowl, they'll pay him the type of money he's looking for. I see no reason Forte won't be the same back he has the past 2 seasons, Forte has averaged 4.7 yards a carry over the 2010-11 seasons, and had a 4.9 this season, and with 50 plus catches a season over the past 2, Forte is simply one of the leagues premier backs. But, thanks to the knee injury, the Bears will probably make him prove it for another season before giving him the type of pay day he wants.

Phil Emery said a lot of nice things about coach Lovie Smith, but I still say Smith will be the new fall guy and will be on a short leash. And I'm telling ya, every new GM wants their own coach despite what they say in a press conference. Just an opinion now GO BEARS!!

Its gonna be interesting to see how Phil Emery handles the whole Matt Forte situation. The fact Forte made the Pro-Bowl helps his case, the fact he had a knee injury doesn't. The weird thing is, Forte got the knee injury vs Emery's old team, the Chiefs. I think Chicago will tag Forte, thanks to the injury, probably to see how he performs this season, after the injury. If Forte comes in and makes another Pro-Bowl, they'll pay him the type of money he's looking for. I see no reason Forte won't be the same back he has the past 2 seasons, Forte has averaged 4.7 yards a carry over the 2010-11 seasons, and had a 4.9 this season, and with 50 plus catches a season over the past 2, Forte is simply one of the leagues premier backs. But, thanks to the knee injury, the Bears will probably make him prove it for another season before giving him the type of pay day he wants.

Phil Emery said a lot of nice things about coach Lovie Smith, but I still say Smith will be the new fall guy and will be on a short leash. And I'm telling ya, every new GM wants their own coach despite what they say in a press conference. Just an opinion now GO BEARS!!

I Agree With Both Of Your Outlooks, And I'm Also Hoping For 'Da' Best.

What The Team Had Was Too Much Of A 'Business As Usual' Approach And That Sickening.. "We'll Be Pleased If We Just Make, The Play-Offs"..Attitude. That Indeed, Needed To Change. Seemed That Actual Coaching Was Lost And Simply Blaming "Execusion" After Each Dibacle, Became The Norm. I'm Well Short Of A Lovie Fan, And Believe He's Only Retained Because Of Ownership's Wishes To Do So.. *But Let Another 7-3 Turn To 8-8 And That Had Better Be 'All She Wrote' For Coach (System Guy) Smith.

On Another Note..

TO THE COMMISIONER:

1) Why Not Play The "Big Game" On Saturday Night?
You Still Get All The 'Hoop-la', You Still Get The West Coast's Involvment, And 'We' All Get Some Recovery Time, Prior To Work On Monday Morning.

2) Shelve The "Pro Bowl". (It's Become An Expensive, Joke)
In It's Place, Two Weeks After The Champion Has Been Crowned? Schedule A Game Between Them, And Your All-Star Team. REAL FOOTBALL!

Just Some Thoughts.

BEAR DOWN!!

Not a fan of this: "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 just screams Smith is the boss. If your the GM it is your job to come up with the plan and your job to pick the player, not Lovie Smith's job. The GM brings in the talent the Coach, coaches them. You want his input? That's fine but it should not be a joint decision.

"On his decision-making style -- is he a consensus-builder or the ultimate authority?"

He is a consensus builder just like Jerry. Not a fan of that, sure you want peoples opinions but in the end the GM is the one who should be making the call. Consensus builder are guys who are affraid to make the call or are not sure what they want so they let other make the call for them. Then they can point the finger at those guys.

I like the fact that he wants to increase the number of scouts, but this is nothing new people have been calling for that for years. He wants his pro scouts and and college scouts working together on Free agency and the draft. I hope the Bears don;t see that as increasing the number of scouts. After all he did mention that he wold not be hiring anyone till after the draft. Which means no new scouts, and Director of pro player and no director of college scouting this year. In the last year the Bears have fired 4 guys from managment and replaced them with one. Lucky for Emery Lovie will be helping him pick the players. Oh Joy. Let me guess Lovie wants fast guys who he will coach up, and then cut a year later.

Creighton:

You need to take a course in public administration, posturing, and media relations.

I don't know if Emery will be good, but no sain individual is going to come out on-air and shout: "Lovie Smith sucks! Jerry Angelo was incompetent! Tim Ruskell can suck it!"

Dude, what do you expect the guy to say?

We'll see how it goes.

Late.

I have thanks. And what you are saying has nothing to do with what he said. He did not have to include Lovie anything remember this is the Patriot don't say anything admin he wants to copy. Why would you keep repeating that Lovie and me will decide who to draft and who will be on the team. Emery is the GM, that is suppose to be his job and his alone.

Also it is fact that he will not be hiring anyone till after the draft and that they have lost a large portion of their staff the last three years. I do not have to like that he is short handed, you can like it all you want but they were short handed three years ago and now even more so. I don;t see how that has anything to do with the media or apperance. He said he would not hire anyone till after the draft because of contract issues. I don't have to like that, I would prefer he had more help and that the help was not Smith. End of story. It's opinion and I have a major wright to it(see what I did there?) I have also stated several times we will see who has power when the draft comes around.

Why even say anything about he and Smith having to agree on anything in order to pick a player? It does not help his image, and Smith is known to have a poor eye for talent. It makes them look stupid, which in public admin you don't want to do. Looking stupid is actually bad.

I agree with you here, Creighton, but on the other hand, some concensus with the coaching staff has to be achieved or another Grg Olsen situation can occur.Those aspects should happen behind the scenes though, or media circus creating dissension nonsense happens.
Turning to the draft, what should the Bears try to do there? I can see looking for a receiver , but am still not convinced the offensive line is set or that defensive linemen in the middle who can bring pressure with a four-man rush are presently on the roster. Peppers is Peppers, but beyond that, whom can be counted on for a solid pass rush?

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on January 31, 2012 1:44 AM.

Bears to interview Alex Van Pelt for passing game coordinator vacancy was the previous entry in this blog.

Ted Phillips explains why he hired Phil Emery as GM is the next entry in this blog.

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