Chicago Bears: Brad Childress

Say this much: Phil Emery is bold

January, 16, 2013
Let's quickly summarize Phil Emery's first 11 1/2 months as the Chicago Bears' general manager:

  1. 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.
  2. [+] EnlargePhil Emery
    AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhChicago Bears general manager Phil Emery is doing things his way.
    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.
  3. As Smith's replacement, Emery hired a one-time NFL wunderkind who 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.

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.

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 Vikings coach 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.

Childress firing draws mixed reaction

November, 22, 2010
ChildresAP Photo/Andy KingLovie Smith empathized with Brad Childress, but was happy for Les Frazier.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Minnesota Vikings' decision to fire head coach Brad Childress hardly came as a shock to Chester Taylor, who spent four years in Minneapolis with Childress before signing a four-year contract with the Bears in the offseason.

"[Vikings owner/chairman] Zygi Wilf, he wants to win, he's going to do whatever it takes to win," Taylor said Monday. "The four years I was there, he always was talking about winning and going to a championship. So I'm pretty sure he's making the right moves to do that.

"It just seems like there wasn't the togetherness that it was [when I was] there in the past. I'm pretty sure that they had their ups and downs over there."

Coming off a 12-4 record that culminated with a trip to the NFC championship game, the Vikings were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders in 2010. Instead, they turned out to be one the biggest disappointments in the league, and currently hold a 3-7 record after being humiliated 31-3 at home against Green Bay.

Although most people anticipated Childress would eventually lose his job, Bears coach Lovie Smith said the news caught him off-guard.

"Yes, I'm very surprised," Smith said. "I just found out about it a few minutes ago. It's a shame, a little bit, when you have your team a play away from being in the Super Bowl one year, and you're without a job the next year. But that's our business, when we get in it, we realize that.

"Looking at it from a different point of view, it's always good to see a guy like Leslie Frazier [who's filling in as interim coach] to get an opportunity."

Vikings fire Childress; Frazier interim coach

November, 22, 2010
The Minnesota Vikings have relieved Brad Childress of his coaching duties and promoted defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to interim coach for the rest of the season, the team said.

Read the entire story.

Childress' job is safe; Favre ailing

November, 14, 2010

Despite the Minnesota Vikings dropping to 3-6 on Sunday, coach Brad Childress' job appears safe.

Owner Zygi Wilf told ESPN's Ed Werder after the Vikings' 27-13 loss to the Chicago Bears that he will not consider firing Childress.

Read the entire story.

Smith not following Childress drama

November, 8, 2010
Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said Monday that he hasn't had time to follow the drama surrounding Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress, who brings his squad to Soldier Field on Sunday.

Read the entire story.

Childress on Favre: We're on same page

December, 23, 2009
[+] EnlargeBrad Childress and Brett Favre
Brett Davis/US PresswireLast weekend's sideline skirmish between Brad Childress and Brett Favre is just the latest episode between the two.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Minnesota Vikingscoach Brad Childress insists his relationship with quarterback Brett Favre is still intact, after cameras caught the two arguing on the sidelines during the Vikings loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night,.

"I think we're both on the same page," Childress said on a conference call Wednesday with Chicago media. "It hasn't been a distraction or divisive. He's a good player, and there's a lot of conversations that go on among a lot of different positions, head coaches, position coaches. Maybe if it wasn't on national television, and we were playing somebody in a smaller market ... We were [just] standing there talking to each other."

"I'm always animated when I speak. I don't know if I've got Italian blood or what. I speak with my hands."

Childress said he was not upset that Favre was so forthright with the media after the game. Favre told reporters he was upset Childress wanted to take him out late in the defeat to Carolina.

"He's an emotional football player, it's part of his makeup that makes him good," Childress said. "I understand that he is Brett Favre as well, sometimes bigger than life in terms of what gets said and what gets talked about. But he's a good team player here, and he has been the whole time he's been here. I have nothing but admiration and respect, as does our whole football team."

Favre threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears last month.