WBEZ | Phil Emery http://www.wbez.org/tags/phil-emery Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bears fire GM Phil Emery, coach Marc Trestman http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/bears-fire-gm-phil-emery-coach-marc-trestman-111301 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/14732463489_37a7948514_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>LAKE FOREST, Ill. &mdash;&nbsp;The Chicago Bears fired general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman on Monday, making sweeping changes after missing the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.</p><p>Trestman is out after going 13-19 in two seasons while Emery lasted just three years. The Bears went 5-11 in a mostly miserable season, never challenging for the NFC North lead after the first few weeks as quarterback Jay Cutler and the rest of the offense struggled mightily.</p><p>&quot;This job was an opportunity of a lifetime. My only regret is that we didn&#39;t win enough games for that opportunity to continue,&quot; Emery said in a brief session with reporters.</p><p>He also thanked the organization and borrowed a lyric from singer Carrie Newcomer, saying, &quot;We stand breathless on the clean edge of change. It&#39;s time to change and move forward.&quot;</p><p>Emery did not take questions from reporters.</p><p>Trestman, in a statement issued through the team, thanked the team-owning McCaskey family for the opportunity to coach the Bears.</p><p>&quot;I also want to thank all the coaches and players who gave us everything we asked over the past two years,&quot; he said. &quot;I have tremendous respect for this organization.&quot;</p><p>The new GM and coach could have a big decision to make with quarterback Jay Cutler. He tied Philip Rivers for the league lead with 18 interceptions after signing a huge, seven-year contract at the end of last season.</p><p>The house cleaning was certainly not what the Bears envisioned with a prolific offense returning intact and a rebuilt defense in tow. But little went right for Chicago this season.</p><p>There were distractions throughout the year, whether it was linebacker Lance Briggs being allowed to miss practice to open a restaurant in California the week of the opener or offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer admitting he was the NFL Network&#39;s source behind a critical report of Cutler late in the season.</p><p>Trestman, who was hired to get the most out of Cutler, benched the highly paid quarterback in favor of Jimmy Clausen for the second-to-last game of the season against Detroit. Cutler wound up starting the final game after Clausen suffered a concussion against the Lions, adding another chapter to a season-long soap opera.</p><p>Trestman also surprised some by allowing star receiver Brandon Marshall to fly to New York on a weekly basis to record Showtime&#39;s &quot;Inside the NFL.&quot; Marshall, who is open about his struggles with borderline personality disorder, had an off year and at one point gave a rambling news conference over past allegations of domestic abuse. He also challenged a Detroit fan on Twitter to a boxing match for charity, and reporters standing in the hallway overheard him screaming in the locker room after a loss to Miami at Soldier Field in October that raised all sorts of questions about where the team was headed.</p><p>The answers came right after that.</p><p>The Bears joined the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons as the only teams to give up 50 or more points in back-to-back games while dropping the next two at New England and Green Bay. Trestman&#39;s meek response after defensive end Lamarr Houston suffered a season-ending knee injury celebrating a late sack against the Patriots &mdash; &quot;I&#39;m disappointed for Lamarr,&quot; he said twice &mdash; only fueled doubts about his leadership.</p><p>In recent weeks, it was clear changes were coming. The question was how far up the ladder they would go.</p><p>&quot;At the end of the day, we didn&#39;t get the job done,&quot; tight end Martellus Bennett said. &quot;It&#39;s not just coaches. It&#39;s everybody. We didn&#39;t have a successful year as players. So the coaches didn&#39;t have a successful year. I think everybody has their hand in the pot. And the gumbo doesn&#39;t taste that great when everybody&#39;s hand is in the pot.&quot;</p><p>Emery, who replaced the fired Jerry Angelo, was hired with a mandate to work with former coach Lovie Smith for at least one season. He fired Smith after the Bears missed the playoffs despite a 10-6 record in 2012, ending a nine-year run that produced three playoff appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl.</p><p>Since, then, the team has been in decline.</p><p>Trestman led the CFL&#39;s Montreal Alouettes to two championships in five years but had never been a head coach in the NFL and at times seemed overmatched by the job. Along with the distractions, the offense took a huge step back: Chicago went from second in scoring to 23rd this year despite having all its starters back.</p><p>Giving Cutler a big contract after last season when the franchise player tag was an option is looking like another mistake. Emery did have success rebuilding the offensive line before the 2013 season, drafting Kyle Long and bringing in Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson.</p><p>But the makeover he gave the defense last offseason did not pay off. Chicago continued to rank among the league&#39;s worst in that area under Mel Tucker, with Jared Allen struggling and fellow newcomer Houston getting injured on that ill-advised sack celebration. Only the Saints and Falcons gave up more yards per game than the Bears.</p><p>Just like his predecessor, Emery also had a spotty draft record, with some hits such as Long and Alshon Jeffery and a big miss in Shea McClellin.</p><p>&quot;Something has to change,&quot; veteran cornerback Tim Jennings said. &quot;I&#39;m not surprised by it. I mean, hopefully it will be a good one this time.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/bears-fire-gm-phil-emery-coach-marc-trestman-111301 What Phil Emery needs to get the Chicago Bears in the draft http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/what-phil-emery-needs-get-chicago-bears-draft-106790 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_phil_emery_pre-draft_jim_prisching.jpg" style="float: right; height: 222px; width: 300px;" title="Phil Emery addresses the media before the draft. (AP/File)" />Thursday is every holiday rolled up into one for Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery: the start of the NFL draft.</p><p>Several free agent signings in recent months have peppered this team with some needed help.</p><p>But the loss of some players to free agency and the decision to go in an alternative direction has re-shaped the Bears. There is also the desire to find replacements for woeful players.</p><p>Emery is talking all calls to move out of the first round with the team&rsquo;s 20th pick for the right deal. If the Bears GM could grab two more selections and fill positions like offensive guard and linebacker, a trade would be welcome.</p><p>This will be the first draft in a long time without Lovie Smith involved. Emery now has his handpicked head coach Marc Trestman.</p><p>There is no doubt Emery is focused on what this team needs.&nbsp;</p><p>When former number one draft pick Gabe Carimi is moved from tackle to guard and still has to compete with new free agent signee former Jets guard Matt Slauson and second year player (undrafted) James Brown you know the Bears feel that position may still be inadequate.</p><p>Offensive coordinator coaching guru Aaron Cromer says he doesn&#39;t care where a player is drafted. He will start the best five to protect the quarterback.</p><p>The only returning starting linebacker is 32-year-old Lance Briggs. Brian Urlacher is still waiting by the phone for a NFL roster spot. Nick Roach signed with Oakland.</p><p>Emery didn&rsquo;t hesitate to sign a couple of linebackers to one year deals: former Denver bronco D.J. Williams and former Carolina Panther James Anderson. Williams has a checkered past. Maybe a new team will help him settle down.</p><p>You can&rsquo;t forget last year the Bears dealt two third round draft picks for troubled Brandon Marshall. That deal not only worked out, it showed the Emery has guts.</p><p>The Bears have a couple of back-up quarterbacks on their roster: Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard. Neither is the future (or the present).</p><p>Jay Cutler will likely enter the season in the final year of his deal without a contract extension and the Bears would love for him to have a monster year.</p><p>The Super Bowl Champions in Baltimore had the same scenario last year with Joe Flacco. They are paying Flacco a ton of money now and their salary cap was decimated. But they will get their championship rings in a few months.</p><p>Sometimes you have to gamble and gladly win in the end.</p><p>The Bears should look for a quarterback in the draft. Seattle found Russell Wilson in the third round last year. Maybe there is another gem hidden in the middle rounds.</p><p>Emery addressed the offensive line&rsquo;s biggest need by signing left tackle Jermon Bushrod.</p><p>Getting tight end Martellus Bennett adds another weapon for Cutler. But if another quality tight end is available the Bears would likely make that selection.</p><p>The Bears may need to look for some youth at cornerback. Charles Tillman is 32 and injuries are a factor. Both starters Tillman and Tim Jennings were Pro Bowlers last season, but the league is full of talented and big wide receivers. Another cornerback could be necessary.</p><p>After the draft, the Bears will likely continue to fill out the roster with undrafted players, free agents and unsigned veterans.</p><p>One Bear who is still sitting waiting for a team is defensive lineman Israel Idonije. The NFL salary cap has hampered most teams. Veterans like him will either take a big pay cut or may be forced into retirement. Urlacher is in the same boat.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></em></p></p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/what-phil-emery-needs-get-chicago-bears-draft-106790 Bears guessing game is over, now when will Rose return? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/bears-guessing-game-over-now-when-will-rose-return-104920 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_bears_charles_rex_arbogast_0.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Bears have made a coaching decision. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)" />The past few weeks the noise about two sports stories has been very loud. First, the selection of a new head coach for the Chicago Bears, the other, the return of Derrick Rose to the Bulls.</div><p>These topics are fueling plenty of talk, tweets and opinions. When I encounter anyone I know (sports fan or not), there are never just pleasantries. It is &#39;Who do you think Phil Emery will hire?&#39; and &#39;When will Rose&#39;s play his first game?&#39; The process took a few weeks, but the Bears have selected their man: Marc Trestman.</p><p><strong>First----who will patrol the Bears sidelines?</strong></p><p>People have been in a tizzy about the length and detail that Emery has employed as he searched for the right man to fill the vacancy after Lovie Smith&#39;s firing. The Bears General Manager meticulously interviewed prospective candidates throughout the country. Plenty of NFL offensive coordinators have been interviewed. But it was Marc Trestman, the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League that Emery decided on early this morning.</p><p>There was a flurry of comments and opinions over Trestman since he has been in the CFL the past five years. His team went to the Gray Cup Final three times, winning the CFL Championship twice.</p><p>He has NFL experience as a quarterback coach with San Francisco (Steve Young), Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Arizona. Trestman has groomed players before entering the draft,&nbsp; including Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell. There were reports saying he had a great interview. But it was a tweet that was sent by his friend and former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson that made him a household name for a weekend. Johnson pretty much announced that Trestman would be named and put it on Twitter. Later Johnson recanted...turns out he was right.</p><p>Two NFL offensive coordinators were finalists with Trestman: Bruce Arians from Indianapolis and Seattle&#39;s Darrell Bevell. Arians guided the Colts to the playoffs after taking the coaching reins when leukemia struck head coach Chuck Pagano. Bevell developed the Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. He also was the quarterback coach for Brett Favre at Green Bay and Minnesota.</p><p>Trestman is expected to help the Bears offense that has been one of the worst in the NFL. With a franchise quarterback in Jay Cutler and Pro Bowl caliber players like Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, Trestman has some players to work with right away. Of course, the real thorn is the offensive line.</p><p>This weekend revealed a trend in the NFL: offense is propelling teams farther into the playoffs. Even the Niners, with their terrific defense, had to rely on quarterback Colin Kaepernick to go toe-to-toe and beyond with Green Bay&#39;s Aaron Rodgers.</p><p>The official press conference has been scheduled for tomorrow at Halas Hall.</p><p><strong>When will Rose start blooming this winter? </strong></p><p>There is no one who wants to be on the basketball court more than Derrick Rose. He is slowly making strides to return from his ACL surgery. There are many indications he will be playing within weeks. He is doing more work with the team and traveling with them. The information flow has been very limited and controlled. He has been participating in pre-game shoot-around and non-contact work at practices. Before Monday&rsquo;s game, he was on the court for an extended period of time. Derrick told me he is arranging through his agent, former Bull BJ Armstrong, a time soon to talk to the media. It has been Rose&#39;s decision not sit on the bench or be in the arena. He does watch the games, but it is too tough to be so close to the action and not play. The Bulls are going to be very conservative with their franchise player. He is too important to the future of this team and frankly, as long as the Bulls stay above water for the playoffs his return will make this a very dangerous team.</p><p>Of course, this is winter so many media outlets are stoking for stories. One story has been determined the other will keep the fire burning a while longer.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout </a>and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame.</a></em></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/bears-guessing-game-over-now-when-will-rose-return-104920 Bears season is taken off life support http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/bears-season-taken-life-support-104622 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Lovi.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The Bears may have felt they were in a hospital waiting room with doctors telling them their playoff hopes had died when Minnesota beat Green Bay. They had barely beaten Detroit 26-24 and needed a Packer win...it didn&rsquo;t happen, and now the season is over. The post season drought continues for Lovie Smith&rsquo;s team. This year actually feels worst then last. How can a team begin the season 7-1, finish 10-6 and not make the playoffs? With the present NFL playoff system, fifty-three teams began a season at 7-1 and only the 1996 Washington Redskins and now the Bears failed to make the playoffs.</p><p>Last year the injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte gave more credence to that season&rsquo;s outcome. Where is the blame now and who will suffer the consequences? Last season it was General Manager Jerry Angelo given his walking papers. He was the person in charge of the roster and there were significant gaps with the depth of that team.</p><p>Angelo&rsquo;s replacement Phil Emery, after his first year at the helm, has some major decisions to make for a team that has to figure what direction to take now.</p><p>If the fans had a vote you know what they would say&mdash;fire head coach Lovie Smith. After nine seasons as the Bears head coach, his team has been to the playoffs three times, once in the last six years (2010).</p><p>NFL coach&rsquo;s jobs are measured by wins and losses and playoff berths. Although this year&rsquo;s record is respectable, more was expected of the Bears. The inability to beat Green Bay in two meetings, not winning the division and not playing beyond the regular season may cost Smith his job. Emery was told he had to keep Smith when he came on board as General Manager. With a year left on the coach&rsquo;s contract will the team hierarchy give Emery the green light to make a change?</p><p>One fact is certain-no one knows what Phil Emery is thinking. He had been a man that does not leak any information, does not cozy up to the media and now faces a major decision in his young tenure at the helm. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>If Emery decides to make a change, will it be a sweeping change? Some may argue that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and special teams coach Dave Toub deserve to be retained. Would a new head coach want to deal with any hold-overs (like Emery did keeping Smith)?</p><p>If there is no change at head coach and Smith stays to finish the final year of his contract, it would be likely that offensive coordinator Mike Tice could be the odd guy out.</p><p>The Bears offense had issues in so many ways. The final game was a microcosm of the season even with the win.</p><p>Prior to the game it seemed that an easy victory was at hand over a Detroit team that only had four wins this year. But Lovie Smith&#39;s team didn&#39;t make it easy on themselves against the Lions. The Bears defense gave the offense the ball four times in great field position. Unfortunately, they only scored 16 points after settling for three Olindo Mare field goals and a Matt Forte one yard touchdown. Luckily for the Bears, they were playing a team that that knew their season was over on Sunday. The Lions fought and showed enough life closing in on a 17 point deficit.</p><p>Both teams had similar game plans-shut down their opponents &quot;big time&quot; player.</p><p>Bears receiver Brandon Marshall had limited catches (5 receptions 42 yards), but he did have an impact with a huge block that allowed Earl Bennett to scamper down the sidelines for a 60-yard touchdown. Despite a sore ankle, Matt Forte had 103 rushing yards. Jay Cutler was 18 of 31 for 257 yards, 1 touchdown and no interceptions.</p><p>Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had to rely on other weapons since Bears All-Pro Charles Tillman did a good job on record-setting receiver Calvin Johnson. Last week &quot;Mega-tron&quot; Johnson set the mark for receiving yards in a season, but he was kept from crossing the 2,000-yard barrier.</p><p>Once again it was the Bears defense that was the strength of the game. Lovie Smith does deserve credit for the philosophy he has&nbsp;instilled with that part of the Bears, but the offense is still a struggle, and when you are a head coach it is your responsibility for all three phases of the team, defense, offense and special teams. Of course, Lovie Smith likes to talk about the Bears fourth phase&mdash;the Bear fans. I think he better not bring that up&mdash;he lost them.</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank"><font color="#006896">@CRayeStout</font></a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank"><font color="#006896">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</font></a></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 31 Dec 2012 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/bears-season-taken-life-support-104622 New Bears' general manager Phil Emery gets to work http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-30/new-bears-general-manager-phil-emery-gets-work-95947 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-30/nfl_a_mattfts_576.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Well the <a href="http://www.chicagobears.com/index.html" target="_blank">Chicago Bears</a> moved onward now that the team has decided on Phil Emery to replace Jerry Angelo as general manager. The team will formally introduce Emery on Monday.</p><p><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> checked in with sports contributor Cheryl Raye-Stout for her reaction and to find out what this means for the Bears moving forward.</p></p> Mon, 30 Jan 2012 14:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-30/new-bears-general-manager-phil-emery-gets-work-95947