Thursday, January 17, 2013
Emery turned to Cutler for input on finalists
By Michael C. Wright
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."