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chicagotribune.com McCaskey: Money no factor in coach search
By Dan Pompei, Tribune reporter
12:28 PM CST, January 1, 2013
The Chicago Bears will not shy away from pursuing a coach just because he carries a high price tag, according to chairman of the board George McCaskey.
"Money was never a consideration, and it’s not going to be a consideration," McCaskey said Tuesday. "Our goal is to get the best guy for the Chicago Bears, and that’s what we’re going to do. When we find the guy we want, we’ll hire him."
McCaskey also talked about how difficult it was for him to say good-bye to fired coach Lovie Smith.
"Our family has high regard for Lovie," McCaskey said. "He’s been high character all the way through. He’s represented the Bears very well, and he’s a good coach. I’m most grateful for Lovie teaching our football players how to become men. He came in yesterday and it was an emotional situation. I know I was struggling to keep my emotions in check."
McCaskey said he did not regret allowing Smith to return last season, and he did not consider 2012 a lost season.
"Looking back on it, (team president) Ted (Phillips) and I thought it was the right decision to make at the time. Lovie deserved another year. (General manager) Phil (Emery) was fine with that and he had a fine working relationship with Lovie."
McCaskey said his mother Virginia McCaskey, the principal owner of the Bears, was kept abreast of discussions about Smith’s future between him and Phillips and Emery.
“We all support Phil’s decision,” George McCaskey said.
McCaskey also offered endorsements for Emery and Jay Cutler.
Of Emery, he said, "We’re very confident in Phil. He’s done an outstanding job since he’s been here. Ted and I have complete faith in him. Our family has complete faith in him."
He called Cutler "the most talented quarterback the Bears have had here in the last 60 years," and compared his leadership skills to those of George Halas.
"I think he’s an outstanding leader," McCaskey said. "He reminds me a lot of George Halas as a player. Outstanding competitor, toughness and will do anything to win." email@example.com