Emery must make presence felt with Bears

Updated 1/28/2012 7:34 PM

The name Phil Emery doesn't exactly set the heart aflutter, does it?

The nickname "Intimidator" would but it remains to be seen whether Emery will ever be worthy of that.


Considering the Bears have squandered all their benefit of the doubt, the assumption is that this is the wrong guy.

Emery? Should have been Jason Licht. Emery? Should have been Marc Ross. Emery? Should have been anybody but him.

If the Bears hired the football equivalent of Theo Epstein, fans would have to march on his closet to see what skeletons were hidden in there.

I don't know much about who Phil Emery is but I do know what I hope he is.

Emery's expertise as a college talent evaluator is a nice start but it isn't nearly what the Bears need in a GM.

The scouting report on Jerry Angelo suggested he was a good scout but he didn't exactly work out as GM, primarily because he blended in rather than stood out.

The most encouraging indicator now would be if Emery were capable of being what the Bears need: Someone worthy of assuming the nickname "Intimidator."

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Yes, Phil "Intimidator" Emery would provide hope for dramatic culture change.

The fear today is that Emery needed the job more than the Bears needed him, that he didn't have as many GM opportunities as they had GM possibilities.

All along the sense was that the Bears had to find someone to come in and tell everyone else what needs to be done rather than being told by them what they want done.

"Mr. McCaskey, please come sit over here. Mr. Phillips, go stand over there. Mr. Smith, wait outside until I call you.

"Mr. Cutler, you have more work to do on your mechanics. Mr. Hester, you're not a wide receiver. Mr. Forte, Mr. Briggs, quit campaigning in the media for more money.

"Gentleman, see this photo? This might be Mrs. McCaskey's pet scout but he doesn't fit into our plans."

These determinations must be made decisively by the general manager and not by consensus with ownership and upper management.


With an extensive background as a strength coach, maybe Emery is strong enough to impose his will on the entire organization.

With the previous nickname "Satan" for pushing players in the weight room, maybe Emery is evil enough to terrorize the status quo.

With time served coaching and teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy, maybe Emery can torpedo the building's same old team-building methods.

The word "Intimidator" comes to mind because of previous situations where executives were brought in to transform Chicago sports franchises.

Even before winning a game for the Cubs, Epstein recently became the standard for GM hires. Before him it was Dallas Green with the Cubs and before him it was Jim Finks with the Bears.

The best attribute each brought to his new team was a presence that made it difficult for ownership to tell him "we can't do this."

For example, who is Cubs' chairman Tom Ricketts to tell Epstein he won't eat $15 million of Carlos Zambrano's contract?

Emery's only chance to succeed is if Halas Hall's incumbent powers are reluctant to resist any makeover demands the "Intimidator" deems necessary.

If Phil Emery can scare up an attitude alteration like that at Halas Hall, this could be a surprisingly good hire.


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