Keeping Score: Thursday visit with Mac and Spiegs

Keeping Score: Thursday visit with Mac and Spiegs
January 10, 2013, 5:09 pm
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Ah, sometimes its fun to be a throwback.
Danny Mac had a last "whaddaya think?" question during my weekly Thursday 10 a.m. visit with Matt and him on the The McNeil and Spiegel Show on WSCR-AM The Score 670. How did I think the Green Bay Packers fare Saturday night in San Francisco?
Overall, the Packers will always be in a game as long as they have No. 12 upright. But I said that it being a night game in San Francisco made me squeamish; besides the Jason Campbell Experience on a Monday night this season, the Bears 2009 game there -- in which Jay Cutler threw five interceptions, one to a defensive tackle -- was perhaps the worst single game Id ever covered.
Throw in the annual humiliation of Big 10 teams against Pac-10ers in the Rose Bowl, and I observed that when Midwest teams go out to the West Coast for big games, especially at night, bad things go happen.
The phrase was one that Danny and then-sidekick Terry Boers once popularized when they were The Heavy Fuel Crew in earlier Score days. Danny and I do go back a while so it was fun and a good laugh to throw out a throwback phrase from our past.
The Bears coaching search is still the news of the day, and the guys were chatting about what sort of strictures might be in place based on general manager Phil Emerys feelings on various issues. For instance, Emery said a coach would have to convince him that the Bears could run a 3-4 with the personnel as its now constituted. And Emerys use of franchise quarterback in close proximity to Cutler makes you curious as to whether that means Emery is effectively telling the new coach that hes going to be saddled with the general manager's choice of quarterback for however long Cutlers (presumed) new contract runs.
But what sense I have of Emery from his first year is that he is a consensus builder rather than strict top-down boss. It means that, just as the organization was when it told him he had to keep Lovie Smith for one more year, Emery will not be welded to Cutler if the new coach has a good rationale for taking the roster and offense in a new direction.
And they agreed with my feeling that there is nothing wrong with Emery using the interview list to add to his knowledge base around the NFL. The reason is that its also normal for candidates to pick up some insights the other direction, about the Bears, during interviews.
Bottom line, there are now eight head-coaching vacancies. Only two teams (Buffalo, Kansas City) have filled theirs. The Bears arent ahead or behind in the process so if Emery is being methodical, hes perhaps no more so than a bunch of other NFL teams.