The Bears didn’t waste any time Monday morning, announcing the firings of general manager Phil Emery, head coach Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. It was step one in a much needed overhaul after the most disappointing season in recent memory. This regime saw their offense drop from 2nd to 23rd in the NFL, and the last two seasons were the two worst defensively in Bears history. How’s that for an exit interview?
In their press conference today, George McCaskey and Ted Phillips made a couple of things clear. For one, they were very unhappy with the state of the Bears and the people they put in charge that got them here. I also believe that they understand, at least somewhat, that they know Phillips should not be wholly responsible for hiring the next GM. The Bears announced the hiring of Ernie Accorsi, a consultant with a lot of football experience, to aid in the hiring.
The two stressed that there would be no timetable for their decision. They would act fast if necessary, but wouldn’t be afraid to wait until the right people were found. This is the first time in Bears history that they are hiring a GM and head coach at the same time. In past years, any new hire would be stuck with whoever is already in place. Bringing in both together, or a GM able to hire his own head coach, could serve the Bears well in a season filled with failed communication on all levels.
Apparently Accorsi already has a list of GM candidates, but one thing is very clear. The Bears need a strong GM and head coach, someone with a clear identity. Someone who is able to make bold, tough personnel decisions. They want a team that is tough – this year the Bears were anything but. Nobody was scared of them in any phase. In fact, in Trestman’s second season they were actually extremely predictable. They were a team without an identity because they had a coach without one.
The other major concern I have over how they proceed from here is that they cannot build around Jay Cutler like they did with the last regime, allowing Cutler to be part of the interview process. They need to bring in the best people regardless of whether they want to keep Cutler or not. Personally, I’ve seen everything I need to see from Cutler, and I don’t believe he is the answer going forward. My gut is that the organization is starting to feel the same way. Cutler wasn’t exactly endorsed in today’s press conference, but rather appears upper management will pawn that job off onto whoever comes in. That said, they need to hire someone willing to part with Cutler who, going into his 10th NFL season, is beyond repair.
The only thing leaving me still scratching my head is that they announced the firing of Aaron Kromer but Mel Tucker and Joe DeCamillis still have a job? How does that happen? The offense was disappointing, but the defense and special teams were atrocious! I mean, maybe they just haven’t gotten to it yet and these will be the team’s next moves, who knows. But why not announce them with Kromer? There’s no chance they are here next season, right? Today was a good start, but they are far from finished. When I called for the Bears to be bold, I didn’t just mean in who they fire, but also in who they hire.
The highlight of the press conference for me was when George McCaskey was asked how his 91 year old mother Virginia felt about the team, and he very passionately said that she was pissed off and fed up with mediocrity. We’re right there with you, V.