From Hub Arkush at Chicago Football on Monday, December 29, 2014:
McCaskey also got it right in tabbing Ernie Accorsi as the Bears’ consultant to oversee the searches for a new general manager and head coach… What is concerning, however, is whether Accorsi is going to be allowed to do the job, or whether Ted Phillips is going to get a chance to screw it up again… What no one could get their arms around, however, was whether McCaskey would acknowledge the one constant in 15 years of mostly frustration and disappointment on the football side of the operation has been Phillips.
The firings of general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman allowed Bears’ fans to celebrate a victory Monday for the first time in a long time. With only two wins in their last ten games, and far too much drama, bringing back this leadership group was just not an option. The search is on for a new GM and coach but many are worried that Bears’ brass didn’t do enough to change the course of the organization.
Who’s in charge of football operations at Halas Hall? As it currently stands, Chairman George McCaskey and President and CEO, Ted Phillips make the final decisions. And while McCaskey’s vivid description of his pissed off mother made for great headlines, it’s clear her anger wasn’t enough to force real change within the organization. Because, despite reports1 suggesting he might be pushed aside, Ted Phillips — a man with a background in finance not football — is still making football decisions in Chicago. Even if Ernie Accorsi, a former football executive with the right experience, is consulting the search processes, Phillips and McCaskey remain steadfast that the final decisions remain at their feet. Ugh.
The results of the last three seasons under Phil Emery and two seasons under Marc Trestman should have been enough to initiate major change within the team’s structure. Ted Phillips could have been let go or, at least, moved into a president of business operations role ala the Cubs’ Crane Kenney. But he spoke with enough authority at the last press conference to affirm his place atop the Bears’ organizational depth chart. Tribune scribe Steve Rosenbloom said it well2: “Overall, this feels like another example of Bears ownership fearing a loss of control or maybe credit if they win the championships they said was the goal. There’s some kind of insecurity involved. Or some kind of screwy management beliefs.” In the end Ted Phillips, a Bears’ employee since the mid 80s, is a McCaskey guy. Bill Polian, Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan and even Accorsi himself are not McCaskey guys. So there won’t be a new president of football operations — a football czar — in Chicago. And, until Bears’ leadership and Accorsi find the next general manager, keep in mind that the wrong people are interviewing head coaching candidates.
The Chicago Bears should be better without Emery and Trestman in charge. But here’s the problem. Businessmen, not football men, are hiring the next regime of football leaders in Chicago. Get ready, it’s going to be an interesting off-season Bears’ fans.
Niral Patel ~ SecCitySportsReport@gmail.com ~ @SecCitySports