Emery's presser falls nothing short of impressive

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Emery's presser falls nothing short of impressive

Bears general manager Phil Emery addressed the media today to discuss his controversial decision to fire Lovie Smith and also provide perspective on what he is looking for in a new head coach for the Chicago Bears.

It was one of the most impressive, insightful, and informative breakdowns of a football team fans or media get the pleasure of experiencing. Emery took everyone on a well-detailed ride into the multiple variables that earned him his role as a general manager in the NFL.

Emery journeyed from one place to another; from the complexities of the draft to statistics gathered during free agency player ratings for team construction. The information he shared also included a brief tutorial on the checks and balances of the federal government in comparison to the synergy Emery believes is a vital quality between himself and the Bears' next head coach.

RELATED: No playoffs = no championship chances cost Smith his job

Overall, Emery gave everyone a glimpse into the fine-toothed comb of data collection in order to make informed sound decisions to build a championship-caliber football team. Getting to experience the leadership displayed by the Bears' top decision maker was a breath of fresh air. Emerys delivery was confident, sound, and fact based. He did not hide or run away from any tough question asked by the media.

In fact, at one point during the press conference, Emery encouraged them: I will stay here as long as you need to answer any questions. True to his word, he did just that.

There wasnt any aspect concerning the Bears that Emery did not cover, other than personal future player contracts. Instead, he preferred to keep that information between himself and the player.

But he did discuss extensively what he is looking for in a new head coach.

"The next head coach must display expertise to take all of the unique talents we have to build a championship team," Emery said, although he did not look to put the blame on Smith. "I needed to provide more talent. Put in on me."

But Emery did expect Smith and will hold his next head coach accountable to utilize the talents available.

They must have the knowledge and flexibility to transform talents we have into a winning formula for a championship team," the Bears GM said.

The Bears offensive failures played a huge part in Smiths dismissal, but Emery made it clear its not all about quarterback Jay Cutler.

There are 10 other guys where the coach much maximize their talent, Emery said before commenting on Cutler's future with the franchise. I am convinced of Jays talents as a franchise quarterback, but we must build around Jay.

Clearly Emerys next step for the Bears is to find a head coach who can adapt Cutlers talents towards winning a championship.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Mark Sanchez officially signs with Bears

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Mark Sanchez officially signs with Bears

On the latest edition of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Chris Emma, Seth Gruen and Danny Ecker join David Kaplan to discuss the Mark Sanchez signing. Does this mean the Bears won't draft a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft? 

Later, the White Sox named Jose Quintana their Opening Day starter, but lose Carlos Rodon and Todd Frazier to injuries. 

Finally, Robin Lopez is back after serving a one-game suspension. The panel looks at the Bulls matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Listen to the SportsTalk Live Podcast below. 

Noise around QB Mark Sanchez misses bigger, far more important goal for Bears ’17 offseason

Noise around QB Mark Sanchez misses bigger, far more important goal for Bears ’17 offseason

The tumult around the Bears quarterback position this offseason – signing Mike Glennon, cutting Jay Cutler, not signing Brian Hoyer, now signing Mark Sanchez – was to be expected. (Well, not all the brouhaha around Sanchez; if there has ever been more hyperventilating around the arriving backup quarterback, it’s escaping my recollections of a quarter-century on the beat.)

All of that, and a lot of the noise around Mike Glennon is really missing a larger point. A couple, really.

GM Ryan Pace established fixing the quarterback situation as a top priority, something it has been just about since Jim McMahon left, with the exception of a few Jay Cutler years. Doing that to any meaningful degree with the castoff options available in free agency or via trades wasn’t ever going to happen. What Pace has done with the quarterback situation, however, is more than a little intriguing.

The quarterback additions and subtractions, coupled with also suggest a draft plan far from locked in on a quarterback. The signings of Glennon and Sanchez don’t mean the Bears have solved their quarterback position, but it does mean the Bears have positioned themselves with the distinct option of NOT taking a quarterback – this year.

But here’s the bigger point.

Even with the optimum quarterback solution unavailable – Pace arguably did go best-available in his and the coaches’ minds with Glennon and Sanchez, all derision aside – Pace’s goal needs to be building a team that can reach a high playoff level regardless of quarterback.

Meaning: defense. And while the 2017 free agent and draft classes did not offer must-have quarterbacks in most evaluations, there are those elite-level defensive talents, and every indication is that the Bears will look there, in the draft, and should be. It had that feeling when the Bears, with ample, money to spend, backed away from day one free-agency runs at a couple of pricey defensive backs. The Bears simply think they can do better for less in the draft.

A perspective: With a defense at its levels during the Brian Urlacher era, the Bears could reach the NFC championship game with what they have at quarterback now. They did, twice, with Rex Grossman and with Cutler. Sanchez got to AFC championship games in each of his first two seasons. The Bears reached a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman as their quarterback. They went 13-3 in 2001 with a solid-but-unspectacular Jim Miller as their quarterback. They reached the 2005 playoffs with Kyle Orton as their starter most of that year, and should have been in the 2008 playoffs with him as well. The Bears reached the NFC championship game in 2010 with Cutler.

There is a common denominator in all of these situations, and it is within Pace’s grasp, and that was an elite defense. Rex Ryan had one with the Jets and Sanchez, Grossman and Orton and Cutler had theirs with Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Mike Brown, Tommie Harris, Charles Tillman, etc.

Forget the quarterback situation for now. Nothing anyone, including Pace, can really do anything about it (other than land possibly Deshaun Watson, based on their turnout at his Pro Day).

But if Pace and his personnel staff do this right, they can lay in the foundation for something elite on defense that will transcend the quarterback, or at least allow the Bears to play more than 16 games in a season even if they do not have a great quarterback. With the Urlacher core defense, the Bears went to postseasons with four different quarterbacks.

The prime directive now for Ryan Pace is to create precisely that model again.