Phillips has jokes for why Bears had bad record on his watch originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
On Tuesday, outgoing Bears president/CEO spoke publicly for the first time since a town hall in September to answer questions about the team’s stadium project at Arlington Park. He spent some time looking forward to the deal that could completely reshape the Bears franchise, but Tuesday was also an opportunity for Phillips to look back upon his career with the Bears. His 40-year tenure with the team will come to a close this spring and Phillips is proud of major moments, like helping the team renovate Soldier Field in 2002. On the whole, Phillips said he hasn’t reflected too much on his Bears career yet, but he did share some things that he wished went better under his watch.
“The one thing, and I think George (McCaskety) alluded to it, is the on-field success hasn’t been there,” Phillips said. “That has been a disappointment. Not a regret, but it has been a disappointment. Other than that, I feel pretty good about leaving the Bears in a better place than where I started.”
Wins and losses are the most important measure for a sports organization, so it’s not surprising to hear Phillips share that disappointment. When asked where he thought things went wrong though, Phillips showed he still has a sense of humor about the shortcomings.
“Well, let’s see, we’ve had 45 different quarterbacks I think since we won the Super Bowl. So that’s probably No. 1.”
No. 1 may be the biggest reason the Bears succeed in the near future though, as in Justin Fields who wears jersey No. 1 for the team. Fields showed real development in his second season, both as a rusher and a passer, and displayed the top-tier playmaking ability that gives him a true superstar’s ceiling.
“Hopefully he will keep growing the way he grew leaps and bounds this year,” said Phillips. “If he can keep growing, he can definitely be the quarterback we’re looking for. I know Ryan and Matt are excited about the offseason getting started with him right away.”