On February 10, 1999 the Chicago Bears announced that Ted Phillips had been named President and CEO of the Chicago Bears.
Phillips began his Bears career in 1984 and became only the fourth president in team history and first not from the George Halas family. Phillips hired Jerry Angelo in 2001 before firing him in 2012, and he hired his second general manager this past summer when he hired Phil Emery.
The Bears in the Phillips era has not been as very successful on the field if you look at playoff appearances. Since 1999 the Bears have only made the playoffs four times going 3-4 which includes the 2006 Super Bowl loss to the Colts. The past two season have been very tough to swallow starting with 2011 season and the 2nd half swoon following the Jay Cutler thumb injury followed by this past seasons 7-1 start that didn’t end up with a playoff appearance.
The Bears front office always seems slow to make moves including holding on to Jerry Angelo. Phillips opened up the proverbial tight purse strings when they signed Julius Peppers but the Bears are still very conservative compared to most franchises. Phillips also tied the Bears into a 20 year lease with Soldier Field. A forward thinker could have thought of a Lucas Oil type building near McCormick Place so Chicago could host all events from Super Bowls to Final Four’s but now we cannot even get a good playing surface on game days.
The book on Phillips is still open with the hiring of Marc Trestman. The offense should be more exciting with an unusual offensive head coach hire. Time will tell how history portrays Phillips, but as of right now he’s a good businessman that has made money for the franchise but has not turned that success for the Bears into Championships on the field.
What do you think of the Phillips era?