A clear vision for bringing championships to the Chicago Bears is a big reason why Phil Emery was speaking for the first time as the new general manager at Halas Hall on Monday.
Im very pumped up, Emery said with a smile to a crowded room full of reporters.
Emery made it clear that a free agency plan is the first line of business, followed by making sure the Bears are prepared for the NFL draft in April.
I have a very good feel for the composition of this draft and its strengths and weaknesses.
It was evident that Bears Chairman George McCaskey believes Emerys vision is aligned with ownership.
They have to be, McCaskey said. Ownership, president, general manager, head coach, everybody in the building has to be on the same page. You heard Phil talk about it. Hes going to speak to everyone in the building and make sure everyone is involved in moving us forward.
There was a brief moment that stuck out shortly after Emery made his opening remarks and went through the expected long list of people that helped him reach this point in his career. Emery paused, then reached down and put on his eye glasses. From that point forward he had a razor-sharp focus while laying out his plan and explaining exactly how he would accomplish his goals.
That final say bears great responsibility. Anytime youre in a leadership role there is a responsibility, but to say that Im not excited about that challenge I would be lying to you.
Emery got his start in the NFL as an area scout with the Bears from 1998-2004 before working for the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs. He returns to Chicago after spending the past three seasons as director of college scouting with the Chiefs.
Current Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli was one of many influences Emery spoke of on Monday. Pioli and Emery worked together in recent drafts helping the Chiefs win the AFC West in 2010, the first division title for the team in seven seasons.
Now in Chicago, Emery will be tasked with restoring postseason excellence. The Bears have missed the playoffs four out of the past fives seasons following a trip to the Super Bowl in 2006. Ownership felt change was necessary this off-season and Emery provides the vision and experience the organization desires in the front office.
Its not so much what was missing, but what this candidate, our new leader brings to the table, McCaskey said. He has a very commanding presence about him.
Bears president Ted Phillips expressed how hard it is to consistently win in the NFL, but believes in Emery so much that hes counting on him to not just win one Super Bowl, but hopefully multiple championships during his tenure.
Someone asked about whether its going to be status quo, I would say absolutely not, Phillips said.
Phillips was the one who ultimately made the call on hiring Emery and now his new general manager will be calling the shots when it comes to the all-important 53-man roster.
Hes going to set high standards. Hes going to be demanding and hold people accountable, and I like that.