Seifert: "Say this much: Phil Emery is bold" (great read)
I really like what I'm seeing from Emery.
LINK to the article Say this much: Phil Emery is bold
Let's quickly summarize Phil Emery's first 11 1/2 months as the Chicago Bears' general manager:
The English language offers us plenty of words to describe Emery's tenure. I'll choose "bold." Emery was a longtime scout and spent time as a conditioning coach at the Naval Academy, but he has shed all stereotypes that go along with that background. Anyone who thought he would take a cautious, by-the-book approach, has been proved wrong.
- For the modest sum of two third-round draft picks, Emery acquired one of the NFL's best and most enigmatic wide receivers. Brandon Marshall rewarded the decision with a career year and last weekend was named a first-team All-Pro.
- He fired coach Lovie Smith after a 10-6 season, unconcerned about the level of difficulty in finding a coach better than the one who built an 81-63 regular-season record in nine seasons.
- As Smith's replacement, Emeryhired a one-time NFL wunderkindwho has been out of the league for eight years and coaching in the CFL for five. As we discussed earlier, Marc Trestman is a courageous choice who will either be a monstrous home run or a fall-on-your-face strikeout.
Emery has certainly displayed the work ethic of a career grinder, interviewing at least 13 candidates in two weeks and stunning them with his preparation and thorough approach. Asked in a news conference earlier this month about the Bears' offensive line, he spoke for about 10 minutes and used nearly 2,500 words to explain why he didn't sign or draft additional depth.
His thought process, however, can clearly take alternative paths. I've talked to some NFL people who have been predicting a Trestman-like hire for Emery. They have suggested he is much more aggressive than people realize, completely secure in his informed judgments and totally unconcerned about initial public reaction. Based on what we know about Emery and Trestman, it's quite possible that the Bears' new power duo connected on a professorial level that matched their unique personalities.
What it also speaks to, I think, is an approach I first heard voiced by former Minnesota Vikingscoach Brad Childress. (And no, there are no further comparisons to be made here.) Shortly after he was hired in 2006, Childress said he would make all important decisions with the idea that he was unlikely to get a second chance if he failed. If he was going to go down, Childress wanted to go down knowing he had done what he thought was right.
Emery is following a similar approach. Chances are that this is the one an only general manager job he'll ever have. Recycled general managers in the NFL are rare. His decisions and moves haven't always been predictable, but they are ones he has clear conviction on. Emery isn't looking to extend his time on the job with safe decisions. He's trying to do his job and is willing to reach out of the box to do so.
If there were any questions as to Emery's view of Cutler...
This might be insightful:
Emery turned to Cutler for input on finalists
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jay Cutler expressed a reluctance to be involved early on in the team's search for a new head coach, but once general manager Phil Emery whittled to the finalists, he asked the Chicago Bears quarterback to sit down with the candidates.
Although Emery took input from Cutler, the general manager made it clear Wednesday that a negative review from the quarterback wouldn't have affected his final decision to hire former Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, who won the job over finalists Bruce Arians of the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle's Darrell Bevell.
"What I asked Jay was to do four things for me," Emery explained.
Emery wanted Cutler to meet with each of the three candidates and keep a keen eye on four things: Communication, poise and presence, the ability to articulate systems of offense, defense and special teams, and leadership before reporting back to the general manager with what he observed.
So Cutler met with Trestman, in addition to sitting down Arians and Bevell.
"I talked to all three of them. Phil asked me to. He wanted a player's perspective," Cutler told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I don't think there was anything I told him that had a bearing on who (Emery selected). He just wanted to get as much information as possible, and I think he did the process right. He did a great job of going through the process talking to a lot of guys."
Cutler explained that Emery "never put me in that position" of having to decide who he liked more between the candidates. Instead Emery "basically just wanted to know if as a player (the candidate) could get in front of the team and lead us, and if guys would respect him. That was all he really wanted to know," Cutler said, adding that "I respect him for asking me as a player, and not putting me in a position to say who I liked better."
Had Cutler done that, it wouldn't have mattered, according to Emery, "because we only talked about those four areas," he said.
"(Cutler) didn't rank anybody. He sat there, told me about those four areas, thanked me for being involved in the process, and that was the end of it," Emery said. "I definitely took his input, but he didn't grade anybody, and he didn't rank anybody."