Phil Emery: Rightfully annoying the NFL

Phil Emery: Rightfully annoying the NFL

As the Bears’ list of candidates to replace Lovie Smith grows daily, so does talk around the NFL that Phil Emery is abusing the interview process. As a Bear fan, I am loving this approach.

There are no rules in the NFL stipulating that a GM can only interview a set amount of candidates. Such a rule would clearly be handcuffing teams: if a GM interviewed ten candidates, yet did not find any of them to be the right fit, it would be in the NFL’s best interest to allow that team to continue to interview until the right coach for that team was found. While this may not be the exact case with Phil Emery, the point remains that the Bears’ GM is simply doing whatever he can to improve this team as much as he can during this off-season. For that, I applaud him.

I understand that critics of Emery’s approach feel he is abusing the head coaching vacancy on his team in order to gain as much insight into his roster as possible. The issue with that argument is that there are no existing rules to prohibit such actions.

Bears fans are used to GMs providing mind-numbing press conferences and head-scratching roster decisions. Since Emery’s dazzling press conference upon Lovie’s release, the GM has only continued to surprise. Emery has a unique opportunity right now to hear as many opinions about his team as possible, and he is using it to the fullest extent.

Let the critics cry in an uproar that such a technique should be frowned upon. If they were Bear fans, I doubt they would care, and any GM who wouldn’t do the same thing in Emery’s position is not deserving of their title. For once, Bears fans know that the GM has a brain, and is not afraid to use it.

Perhaps, in his extensive amount of interviews, Emery will be “wowed” by a candidate that he did not originally expect to be a serious contender for the position. As long as he is allowed to be as thorough as he wants, the more thorough Emery is, the better. Every piece of information Emery hears during this search could be valuable to the Bears moving forward.

This is not cheating: it’s not the Patriots having having secret tape of their opponents’ practice. This is not Emery colluding with coordinators or other candidates. Emery is simply interviewing everyone he can, which clearly gives him the best opportunity to hire the best coach for the Chicago Bears.

For every outcry that this is unacceptable, I say Emery should tack on another interview. If people in the NFL have an issue with this, then it needs to be taken up with the league so that some remedy can be found. This would require an almost impossibly specific set of guidelines (how could the league prove any candidate interviewed by a GM was done so simply to gain information?), and that is likely why no such guidelines exist as of yet.

To those complaining about Emery’s tactics, I recommend holding your breath. Given the opportunity, unless they were narrow-minded, every other GM in the league should be committed to their team the way Phil Emery is. He obviously is not concerned about what his critics are saying, and deserves a round of applause for his dedication to improving the Bears.

I know now that Emery wants the Bears to be as good as possible as quickly as possible. For once, the Bears have a GM who is proving that with both his words and his actions.

Thanks, Phil.


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  • Maybe the the league is mad because after spending the time the Bears will eventual ruin their decision

  • That's certainly possible- I'm not assuming Emery necessarily will hire the best person for the job, but at this point he's doing everything right, and is putting himself in the best position to make the right decision.

    Only time will tell if it is the right hire, but as of right now, we have no reason to assume that he won't make the right hire.

  • The Bears are getting an advantage in roster insight, but the longer the search goes the more it will the pool of applicants. Dragging it on will prevent various coordinators from applying, because the Bears will look like they don't want to make a decision. And the people who have applied feel like crap, look at Toub interviewing for other special teams coordinator positions recently. A longer search only works if the Bears can land a big-ticket coach, like Gruden or Cowher.

  • I couldn't disagree more.

    Candidates will not think the Bears "don't want to make a decision." Worst case scenario, as I see it, would be candidates viewing Emery in the negative way that we've heard: that he's abusing his position. Obviously the Bears WANT to make a decision, some may just not agree with Emery's approach.

    In that same spectrum, why would anyone who has interviewed already "feel like crap?" If anything, Emery clearly had those candidates on his list when he fired Lovie, so they should feel as tho they have an advantage over the newer candidates. Likewise, Toub has interviewed for other positions plenty of times. This is not the first time he's explored other options (he was interviewed by other teams last year, at the very least).

    Lastly, I don't think the Bears want or need a "big ticket coach" such as Gruden or Cower. Gruden might be a decent fit, but Cower has been out of football for some time now- do you really think he would be a great hire for this team? Furthermore, the Bears have never hired a head coach with previous head coaching experience- why would they start now?

    If any big name coach was interested, it would've made more since for it to happen earlier, not later. A Cower or Gruden isn't going to suddenly become interested in the job just because Emery is interviewing a lot of candidates. I think it's better for the Bears to find someone new anyways- a coordinator hungry for the opportunity and ready to prove himself.

    My theory is Emery knows who he wants to hire, or has 2-3 top candidates in mind; and they're in the playoffs. Emery is using the time he must wait for those top choices to finish their current seasons as an oppotunity to continue to talk to other people. It can't hurt unless his desired hire chooses another job, and I don't see anyone turning down the Bears to go to Philadelphia or Jacksonville. The Bears have the best head coaching vacancy, and Emery should be able to get his guy. Then, we just have to wait and see how it all turns out.

    Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  • Conducting countless interviews is to me a sign that Mr. Emery didn't do his homework on what's out there and fears making a bad decision.

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