Reviewing Phil Emery's Lovie Smith Press Conference

What a difference a year makes.  A year ago, Ted Phillips announced the Bears had parted ways with Jerry Angelo and the search was on to find a new GM.  The Bears brought in Phil Emery under the stipulation that he was to keep Lovie Smith for the 2012 season.  The 2012 season came and went and another season without a trip to the postseason left Phil Emery no choice but to fire Lovie Smith. 

On New Year’s Day, Emery scheduled a 10AM press conference as a perfect cure for a Bears season and Lovie Smith firing hangover.  During the 53 minute press conference, Emery made his decision, his objectives and his motives 100% clear.  He went into explicit detail about why Lovie Smith was let go, what he wants in the next head coach, why he made the draft choices he made and what the Bears must do to improve their offense.

Emery made it clear that this was an ongoing evaluation process and while he met with George McCaskey and Ted Philips, the decision on Lovie’s fate was left to him.    At the end of his evaluation process, Emery cited a lack of trips to the postseason and a lack of consistency on offense that led him to go in a different direction with the head coaching position.

Here are the criteria that Emery laid out for what he’s seeking in the next Chicago Bears head coach:

  1. Excellence in their role.  Who will comprise their staff will have a big role.
  2. Great organizational and administrative skills.  Need to be meticulous and thorough.
  3. Wants high energy and pulls people together in the building.  Synergy work towards common goal.  Upbeat and positive.
  4. Wants someone to be good on their feet; working with the media, etc.

My impressions of Emery:

He’s very meticulous and detail oriented.   He outlined very specific criteria for what he’s seeking.  He described how he came in and evaluated everything about the team all the down to the computer system and the tools scouts use.  You never heard Jerry Angelo go into that sort of thing.

Emery is very numbers driven and rattled off stats off tops of his head.   He was riffing on pass protection rankings of the team and of specific players.  As best I could tell, he never looked at a note or read anything.  Everything was either very well rehearsed or off the top of the head.

While he’s from the Bill Belichick school of playing it close to the vest, he’s very forthcoming with his answers.  He doesn’t speak in double talk and dance around the issues.  He provided very elaborate details about the process of drafting Alshon Jeffery and how he weighed the choices at offensive line in that spot in the draft.

He’s very well prepared.  When we stated his criteria for a head coach, the first goal was someone who possessed ‘excellence in their role.’  That’s sort of an open-ended and ambiguous description, but Emery was aware of that and was well-prepared with a detailed explanation of that criteria.

Some buzzwords that stood out for me in the press conference were consistency, championships, excellence and synergy.  No matter the business – be it a football team or a lemonade stand, those are the same buzzwords you’d likely hear.  It shows me that the Bears are being treated as a business and not just the McCaskey kids’ play toy.

Make no mistake about it, Phil Emery is sitting at the big boy table.  He’s not sitting at the kids table waiting for Phillps or George McCaskey to bring him a plate.  Emery is in charge of this decision and has a clear direction and a clearly defined process.  He’s been diligent and is going at this with a sense of urgency.  I like what I’ve seen so far.

What do you think?  What were your impressions of the press conference?  Post your impressions in the Comments.


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Tags: Chicago Bears Lovie Smith Phil Emery

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