Tuesday, January 31, 2012
BBAO: Minimal criticism of Phil Emery hire
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
In many ways, it's tough to criticize the Chicago Bears' hiring of Phil Emery as their new general manager. He is by all accounts a highly respected figure in NFL scouting circles, someone who has demonstrated the willingness to work all day and every day to unearth talent and separate the so-called contenders from pretenders. As we discussed Monday, his character and approach are that of an ex-Naval Academy conditioning coach, and he sounded in his introductory news conference like a fine person to work for.
About the only criticism I could find in the Chicago media was the suggestion that the Bears swung low in their search to replace general manager Jerry Angelo, valuing competence but also requiring a level of conformity to their existing structure that might have disqualified higher-profile candidates. Here's how Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times put that sentiment:
"You get what you ask for. What the Bears asked for was a GM who has no desire to fire a middling head coach, a GM who thinks the team isn’t far away from being great and a GM who is extremely happy to be here. Check, check and check. Emery sounds like a man who can work with anyone who is put in front of him. That includes [coach Lovie] Smith, the scouting staff and, presumably, Staley the mascot, as long as he's a team player."
Regardless, I think we can use baseball terms to put this hire in proper perspective: The Bears put a runner in scoring position even if they weren't swinging for the fences.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune: "Much of the public listened to Emery and equated uninteresting with incapable, but be careful before jumping to conclusions. Judge Emery's substance, not his style."
- Smith's job appears as safe as it could following a general-manager transition, writes Dan Pompei of the Tribune: "Emery did not sound a bit like a man intent on running out Smith as soon as possible so he can put his stamp on the Bears with the head coach of his choosing. In fact, he made it clear his goal is to ensure Smith is the coach of the Bears for a long time."
- Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com: "It seems to me, a professional scout of character, that Emery is an old-school, salt-of-the-earth football guy. He's certainly not a personality in the vein of Jerry Angelo, whose famous last words in Chicago were telling a reporter to 'whistle dixie.' But I have a feeling that Emery knows what he's talking about when he's in a room full of like-minded men. He's a scout, after all, a guy who works in anonymity, taking his victories mostly in silence."
- Emery received a five-year contract, according to Brad Biggs of the Tribune.
- The Bears will speak with Alex Van Pelt for their open quarterbacks coach position, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
- The Minnesota Vikings are looking at a stadium site across the street from the Metrodome so that they can continue playing in the existing stadium until the new one is ready, writes Kevin Duchschere of the Star Tribune.
- Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press speaks with Hall of Fame candidate Chris Doleman.
- Vikings director of player personnel George Paton interviewed Monday for the St. Louis Rams' general manager job, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was named The Sporting News' executive of the year, notes the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- Missed this from a few days ago, but Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com reported that many in the Detroit Lions organization are uncertain if running back Jahvid Best (concussions) will play again.