COMMENTARY | When Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo was shown the door after the 2011 season, the days were numbered for now-fired head coach Lovie Smith. Angelo and his embattled coach had been through their share of ups and downs. After team owner Virginia McCaskey gave her blessing to relieve Angelo of his duties, Smith had to know he'd never again have such a staunch advocate in his corner. Phil Emery's hiring as GM was merely the first step on the road to a deep cleansing at Halas Hall, the team's headquarters. No one could have predicted that Emery's second step would be so catastrophic.
Including the 2010 NFC championship game, the Bears are 2-8 in their last 10 meetings with their Wisconsin rivals, the Green Bay Packers. Chicago went 8-11 against them in the Lovie Smith era, despite a 7-3 mark through the first 10 meetings. Smith is an NFL defensive wizard whose team couldn't beat Green Bay and its offensive wizard, head coach Mike McCarthy.
To compete against its rival, Chicago needed to find its own offensive whiz kid. McCarthy is 74-38 in his seven seasons at the helm in Titletown, good for a .660 winning percentage. Along the way, he's coached one soon-to-be-Hall-of-Fame QB in three-time MVP Brett Favre and one trending that way in 2010 MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Instead of selecting from the endless possibilities available to them thanks to Black Monday 2013, the Bears selected a man who was such an NFL mastermind that, from 2004 to 2012, zero teams hired him. That's right -- zero. For eight solid years Marc Trestman, formerly the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL, went 0-for-32 in the get-hired-by-an-NFL-franchise game. In case you're wondering, that's an 0-for-256 mark, a Chicago Cubs-like run of futility ended, ironically, by a Chicago franchise in the midst of a championship drought.
The Bears called upon a man who hasn't coached an NFL QB in eight years to compete in a league which clearly favors the quarterback. Ken Wisenhunt, who coached QB Ben Roethlisberger to a title and put QB Kurt Warner in the Hall discussion? Pass. Bruce Arians, savior of the Indianapolis Colts' season and the one who molded QB Andrew Luck into a Pro Bowler his rookie year? Pass. Mike McCoy, a man who coached QBs Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning to the playoffs, all while running drastically different offensive schemes? Pass. That's three bad passes; at a certain point, someone gets benched for making too many bad passes. Isn't that right, Mark Sanchez?
Every GM in every sport has an ego; every GM wants their fingerprints all over the fabric of his franchise. So while it comes as no surprise that Emery would attempt to make a splash hiring, this one woefully falls at the shallow end of an empty pool.
Doc Hopkins has followed Chicago sports for decades and has worked in sports media over 10 years..
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Lovie Smith
- Chicago Bears
- Phil Emery
- Jerry Angelo
- Halas Hall