SBD/January 30, 2012/Franchises

Bears Hire Chiefs' Dir Of Scouting Phil Emery As Their New GM

Emery will have full authority
to retain his scouting staff
Chiefs Dir of College Scouting Phil Emery Saturday “agreed to a multiyear contract with the Bears” to become their new GM, beating out Patriots Dir of Pro Personnel Jason Licht to succeed Jerry Angelo, according to Sean Jensen of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Emery “will be formally introduced at a news conference” at 2:00pm CT today. League sources said that Emery possesses “a clear vision for shaping a franchise, one he articulates clearly without superficiality.” League sources also said that the Bears “will not handcuff Emery in any way, other than to keep coach Lovie Smith at least for the 2012 season.” Emery will have “full authority to retain his scouting staff, including player personnel director Tim Ruskell, who is under contract through 2013.” Another league source said that the Bears' new GM “won’t be threatened by Ruskell, who, before joining the Bears, had been the president and general manager” of the Seahawks (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/29). In Chicago, Brad Biggs noted Emery “worked as an area scout from 1998 to 2004” with the Bears. His reputation “as a tireless worker with a keen eye for skill put him over the top after his second interview Friday” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/29). Also in Chicago, Dan Pompei wrote Emery is one of the NFL's “best evaluators of talent.” He forms “strong, substantive opinions based on in-depth research that goes well beyond the norm.” Pompei notes he will have “to be a leader.” He has to be able to “manage the coach and his staff.” He needs to “endure ownership” and in a “tweeting world, he better be media savvy.” But more than “anything, he has to see a big picture.” In two interviews, Emery “impressed team President Ted Phillips and Chairman George McCaskey with his vision, his command of the room and the depth of his plan” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/29).

QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED: In Chicago, Mike Mulligan notes the first order of business for Emery “is to define his role.” Mulligan asks, “Is he really a general manager? Will he control the salary cap?” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/30). In Illinois, Mike Imrem wrote considering the Bears “have squandered all their benefit of the doubt, the assumption is that this is the wrong guy.” The most “encouraging indicator now would be if Emery were capable of being what the Bears need: Someone worthy of assuming the nickname ‘Intimidator’” (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 1/29).
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