(WSCR) Bears president Ted Phillips knows he isn’t a talent evaluator, and that’s exactly why he hired Phil Emery as the team’s new general manager.
“I’m not a talent evaluator, but I’ve been in this business for 28 years,” Phillips told The Score’s Zach Zaidman in an exclusive interview. “I think I have a wealth of experience, a lot of contacts, a lot of people I lean on to understand what it takes to run a football organization. … I think I was able to rely on a lot of my contacts throughout the league to really do a thorough vetting process of the potential GM candidates. I couldn’t be happier that Phil Emery is our GM.”
LISTEN: Ted Phillips with Zach Zaidman
Phillips said Emery will bring exactly what the Bears need to close the talent gap in the NFC North.
“Clearly we’re slipping a little behind with the talent gap,” he said. “As much as we’ve had some good finds in the bottom half of the drafts in the last few years, our top, say, three picks in the last 10 years or so, we need to do a better job of it. If you don’t do that, it’s hard to sustain success. I think that was a driving force. What Phil is going to bring is not only does he have the sterling talent evaluation capabilities, but he’s going to bring a level of detail and accountability and organization that I think is going to raise everybody here to higher standards.”
Before the hiring of Emery, Phillips had said the one restriction in place for any GM is that Lovie Smith would remain the head coach in 2012 — something Phillips said wasn’t the point he was trying to make.
“That comment was blown out of proportion,” Phillips said. “What it means is that to be successful, you need a general manager who can work in concert with the coach. All success full teams have that. That’s what I meant by it. In terms of Lovie, he met every candidate. Frankly, he liked every candidate. I think it was important for him to meet the general manager as much as it was important for the general manager candidates to meet the head coach. It just made sense.”