On Emery's Press Conference: Rapid Fire Recap

| January 1st, 2013

Phil Emery was named the General Manager of the Chicago Bears at the beginning of the 2012. He waited until the final day of that year to make his most significant, dramatic and gutsy move. He fired head coach Lovie Smith – a man with significant support amongst the fans and near-unanimous support inside the locker room.

Here are my rapid fire reactions to today’s press conference:

  • He’s got a definitive look. The coat looks tweed. The glasses are borderline iconic. If he wins here I’d imagine this thing will take off.
  • Made a point to comment on Lovie’s “defensive excellence” multiple times. Not team excellence. Defensive excellence.
  • Emery wants the Bears in the playoffs on a consistent basis. Not being there 5 of 6 years cost Lovie.
  • This change was very much about achieving consistency on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Phil Emery making it very clear this was his decision. He presented his options to Ted and George and after some hard-line questioning they allowed him to make the decision.
  • Emery truly owning the decision. Making it clear to those in the room he’s in charge.
  • “Be in the hunt for championships on a consistent basis” repeated multiple time.
  • Candidate musts: (1) Excellence in their current role – will seek a wide range of candidates. (2) Administrative/organizational skills. (3) Leader of men. (4) High energy. “Pulls everybody together in the building.” (5) Good on their feet with the media. Rare to hear this mentioned but very important in Chicago.
  • Process will be executed with thoroughness but with a sense of urgency. He’d like to have a head coach hired by the East/West and Senior Bowl games.
  • Makes clear that Jay Cutler is the franchise quarterback and next coach should be prepared to coach him.
  • Some of the current coaches on the staff “may end up back here”. I would not rule out Rod Marinelli as defensive coordinator or Dave Toub as special teams coach.
  • Assistant coaches were given extra year at start of last season to protect them and protect the team. Very interesting. Emery seems to have had this change in mind from day one.
  • Emery wants a coach to adapt to his roster and understand the roster will continue to grow. This is not the beginning of a rebuilding stage, folks.
  • Sure sounds like the Bears will stay with a 4-3 defense. He knows the talent is there to run a 4-3 and wants them in place.
  • No discussion of Brian Urlacher. Commented that 54 looked “rusty”. Liked his performance in the Seattle. I maintain Brian Urlacher will be in a Bears uniform next year. Says it will be difficult to replace Urlacher’s “knowledge base of our system.” Sure sounds like the Tampa 2 alignment/base will be the defense in 2013.
  • Will conduct interviews with head coaches himself, narrow the pool down to two or three and bring Ted and George into the fray. The final decision will belong to Phil Emery and Phil Emery only.
  • Decision wasn’t finalized to fire Lovie Smith until Monday morning. Emery dodged the question of whether making the postseason this year would have influenced his decision. (I take that to mean he knew this was coming.)
  • Wow. Phil Emery shouts out to Stats Inc. and PFF. Good for those guys.
  • According to data the Bears were 26th in the league as a pass protecting offensive line.
  • Bears were 22nd in the league when it comes to dropped passes. (Surprised they were this high.)
  • Emery makes definitive statement: you have to have more playmakers than the other guys.
  • Emery spent ten minutes explaining the decisions made along the offensive line this off-season.
  • Chose Alshon Jeffery over riskier picks along the offensive line. Does not regret that decision.
  • Bears need to get better at the midfield area of the field. Criticizes lack of using Forte in the passing game. Comments that Kellen Davis “had a rough year”. Hypothesizes about the lack of consistency from Earl Bennett.
  • Emery is a joy to listen to if you’re a football nerd. I, my friends, am a football nerd.
  • Stated Henry Melton “got better as a run player”. Tempering enthusiasm for contract negotiation?
  • I believe Emery just said he coached both swimming and lacrosse.
  • Money will be no issue when finding a new head coach and hiring his staff. One of the antiquated concepts about the McCaskey family is they’re cheap. They haven’t been cheap for more than a decade.
  • “We want to win championships now.” Emery being very clear the Bears are NOT rebuilding.

Three words to define Emery: meticulous, passionate, honest. If you did not watch or listen to the press conference, go find it.