There is nothing black about Black Monday. No sadness or grimness or darkness. Just a warm light.
The firing of Bears general manager Phil Emery and head coach Phil Emery shouldn’t produce glee but a sense of relief — relief that chairman George McCaskey did the right thing and did it quickly. Of course the moves were obvious, but too often the McCaskeys have treated the obvious like an infectious disease.
McCaskey had to fire Trestman after the buffoonery of a 5-11 season, and he had to fire Emery, the man who hired Trestman and gave Jay Cutler a ridiculous amount of money.
Now the Bears need to try to trade Cutler and his seven-year, $126 million contract to the next sucker to fall for his arm. But if they can’t, it’s imperative that they don’t hire a head coach with the quarterback in mind. In other words, don’t hire Mike Shanahan because he had success with Cutler when he was the head coach in Denver. Hire Shanahan if you think he can coach everybody. Hire Shanahan if you think he’ll be honest with you about Cutler’s abilities.
Before we laud McCaskey for doing what any sensible person would have done, let’s not forget that he’s the one who OK’d the hiring of both Emery and Trestman. He’s the one who looked on as the circus of the past three years played out. And he’s the one who will OK whoever gets hired next. Scary, scary stuff.
Expect the expected from the Bears – paying a consultant to tell them whom to hire because they don’t have enough football knowledge to know who can manage and who can coach. It feels like Bears fans have been through about three rounds of this over the past 15 years. How president Ted Phillips has presided over such a failed approach without a nick is beyond understanding.
The time has come to hire a general manager who has actually been a general manager and a head coach who has actually been a head coach – at the NFL level. The idea of hiring men who have done the job before might seem obvious – that word again — but to the Bears it’s some combination of bizarre and wait-that’s-going-to-cost-too-much-money!
The lesson of Emery is this: Just because you’re organized, just because you work a lot of hours and just because you’ve had a long career as a scout doesn’t mean you’re a general manager. The lesson of Trestman is obvious too: Just because you have refreshing ideas, just because you seem to be good with quarterbacks and just because you’ve been a CFL head coach doesn’t mean you’re an NFL head coach. If the Bears don’t pay attention to these truths, then they’re doomed to continue to make the same mistakes.
Even the draft pick Emery gets props for – guard Kyle Long – was the son of a Hall of Famer and the brother of an NFL defensive lineman. If that’s thinking outside the box, the box must have been the size of a Rubik’s cube.
One more thing: You fans should be proud of yourselves. You screamed, and McCaskey heard, even as he maniacally cheered all those Jay Feely field goals Sunday in Minneapolis. Take a bow.