phil-emery-story

Bearing Down on a New Era

Phil Emery, Chicago’s second-year GM, on what he sees in new coach Marc Trestman

By
Robert Klemko
· More from Robert·

ROBERT KLEMKO: Bottom line—Why fire Lovie Smith?

PHIL EMERY: We were in a position where if he stayed, he would be picking his fifth offensive coordinator. Part of it was because I really believe looking at a team that if you’re going to have success, the most important relationship is between the head coach and the quarterback. I like our quarterback. I think Jay Cutler is very talented. He wants to improve. I know he needed to improve for us to be a championship team. When we were looking at making a change we knew that if we were going to do it we were going to make that the focus point. We had to work from that end.

KLEMKO: What did Marc Trestman show that all of the other candidates did not?

EMERY: Marc’s got a unique blend of intelligence, thoughtfulness, and he’s incredibly competitive, which people don’t always see. He’s perceived as a very quiet, intellectual individual, which he is. But they don’t see all the competitiveness. In practice he empties his tank. He’s on his players, he’s on his coaches, he’s on the move. He spends himself, gives up every ounce of energy he has to make the team better. When he was interviewing, we sat down for five hours in a hotel room outside of Chicago, one on one, he and I, and we talked about preparation for a game, and there was a spot in there when he said a few things to me which made me think, Wow, this guy’s a football coach. [What that was] will stay between Marc and me, but it was very direct, the intent was aggressive. and it was all about winning. This isn’t just an offensive coordinator or QB guru—this is a head football coach who is extremely competitive and conveys it to his team in his own way. He’s here to win. And I see a lot of players that have bought in collectively.

KLEMKO: When the team parted ways with Brian Urlacher, you tabbed free-agent vets D.J. Williams and James Anderson to fill the void with one-year deals. What is your philosophy in terms of the draft versus free agency?

EMERY: With the current model with the cap, the college end of it, with the draft picks working out, is the way to go. The cost of the younger players is lower. So if you want to have cap flexibility to bring in key dynamic players, that allows you to. But the goal is winning. It doesn’t matter who the players are, or where they come from. Right now we’re tight against the cap. Why? Because we have a number of high-level contracts and veteran players. We have brought in high-level veterans Jermon Bushrod [at tackle] and Martellus Bennett [at tight end]. That eats up cap space. But in the end whatever it takes to assemble that talent for that year, that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to plan ahead, obviously, but what’s important is right now. The goal is to win championships. Anything else would be unfair to the fans, and it would be unfair to the players.

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15 comments
Marc Trestman > Lovie Smith
Marc Trestman > Lovie Smith

Lovie Smith being shown the door was long overdue...as was Jerry Angelo's.  

Sweet feathery jesus we they question should not be why was he fired, it should be what took so damn long?


JamieDusseault
JamieDusseault

I think Phil is in over his head. Can't wait for the Pack to open a can of whoop ars on em.

ianlinross
ianlinross

Phil Emery and Rick Spielman are talking like Ted Thompson.

sheenaleelovely
sheenaleelovely like.author.displayName 1 Like

Just want to say I am loving this site over that PT... i dont even remember what its called anymore. I come here for knowledgable non-biased NFL related information, not lawyers talking jibber jab with conspiracy theories. Not sure if the author will get this or Peter King, but hey.. good job guys exactly what we needed.

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

Still with a "Lovie Smith" question, Bob?  Emery had to love that one, wondering where you were in February.  Nine seasons at the helm anywhere is nice long time in the NFL, but especially Chicago.  You might've asked the GM for the closer, 'Why do you think Smith not hired elsewhere in the NFL after being let-go?'  That one's slightly curious.

josephfinn
josephfinn like.author.displayName 1 Like

@KeysSteven When you fire a successful coach it's quite reasonable to ask him about it, and Emery gave a good, well-considered answer.  And you're also right to bring up the followup question; it's very odd that it seems like Smith didn't get a serious look from anyone.

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@josephfinn @KeysSteven You didn't get it.  Timing is everything.   It was "quite reasonable" to ask five months back, but today, it's tacky and gives impression the poser is out of step or has an agenda.  As for Emery's "answer," it should be "good" because he had lots a' practice...five months back.

And "successful (Smith)?"   Five years back.  One (?) PS win since, over an 8-9 Seattle, at home.  Where have you & Bob been, anyway?.  Bears' ownership and rest NFL applies a different definition than do you and this author.

I like Lovie Smith, so do the Bears, but I appreciate Chicago's desire to become relevant again.

josephfinn
josephfinn

@KeysSteven Yes, successful.  84-66 record, three NFC North championships and one Super Bowl appearance.  So yes, successful.

boonie
boonie

Why this compulsive need to print? Read the screen and move on, it's not classic literature.

tj90036
tj90036 like.author.displayName 1 Like

WHY, OH WHY CAN'T THIS CRAP WEB SITE GET A PRINT BUTTON???  THE ONLY REASON I'M GOING TO READ THIS CRAP IS TO LOBBY FOR A PRINT BUTTON.

THIS STINKS!!

THIS STINKS!!

THIS STINKS!!

THIS STINKS!!

RobertKlemko
RobertKlemko like.author.displayName 1 Like

@tj90036 Dude, there's a print button on the left hand side of the page.

vanonymous
vanonymous like.author.displayName 1 Like

I think Lovie was an awesome Defensive Coach; I just wish he had found someone to run the Offense.

Overall, it was time for him to go.  For the only time in my lifetime (and I'm old; I remember Bobby Douglass:), the Bears have an actual QB.  They need to take full advantage.

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@vanonymous Shame, shame, vano+, you remember run-QB Bobby D. but not Jim McMahon, the biggest reason for Bears great success in '85-86?  When Jimbo came off the bench nursing injury to rally Bears past Vikes in MNF contest in Week 3 (?), it was catalyst to maybe the greatest season in NFL history.  Payton was sweet, Singletary intense but Jim's confidence under center was key.  Short lived but quite memorable, for this writer.

vanonymous
vanonymous

@KeysSteven @vanonymous Hey, I loved Jim.  And I agree, his cockiness/confidence fit that team to a tee.

But, if I'm honest, he wasn't a really great QB.  Yeah, he could heave it off of play action and let Willie Gault run it down, but if it wasn't for the '46', that year doesn't happen, Jim or no Jim.

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