What does Emery discuss with head coach candidates?

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What does Emery discuss with head coach candidates?

So I've been asked a lot about why Phil Emery is interviewing so many different coaches for the Bears vacant head-coaching position.
The purpose of talking with so many guys is to simply learn as much as possible. Whether it be offensive systems, philosophies or even to learn about other assistant coaches, there is a method to the madness.
Head coaching interviews are as detailed or more than any job in sports.
Some key topics that are always discussed include systems style on both offense and defense. Since most of the coaches being interviewed by the Bears are offensive guys, they may lay out a good chunk of what they do in terms of utilizing personnel and overall system. Some coaches will have an entire PowerPoint presentation.
One thing every prospective head coach brings to an interview is a long list of potential assistants he would pursue to join his staff. He may include dozens of guys since many may be under contract and unable to leave current jobs. The list is dissected by the general manager and there even may be coaches the general manager may say he won't accept for various reasons. This is also a way general managers learn who the highly respected assistant coaches are by seeing the same names pop up on different lists of prospective head coaches.
Other topics sure to be open for discussion include: How do they practice, meet and discipline players? Often times a coach interviewing will have an entire mock practice schedule for the season. Responsibilities of the assistants, does the head coach play the role of the CEO and allow his coordinators to run their sides of the ball, or is the coach going to be a play-caller and over see his expertise?
The size of the staff is also a hot topic. Can the head coach have assistants to assistants which many teams do nowadays, such as an assistant defensive backs coach or offensive assistant, which are not quality control jobs? How many video people are on staff? What about the size of the training staff and other support people? Salaries of assistants has become more important. Many teams pay their coordinators at or near the 1 million mark and top assistants around 500 thousand.
In the Bears' case, the subject of Jay Cutler will no doubt be debated. If the head coach isn't sold on Cutler after a year he may want to know if he's tied to him for the long haul. The new coach may want to draft a young quarterback or look on the market for a possible future replacement. Despite being considered a franchise quarterback, any good coach will see the number of coordinators he's had and also look at his production.
The new head coach will certainly want to have some say on personnel even though Emery will have the final say. No coach wants to feel helpless when it comes to the players he's given.
I could go on and on, but that's just a small amount of what takes place during a head coaching interview. The more people Phil Emery talks to, the more information he gains, which helps him to make an informed decision.
It's a much better formula than picking one guy and saying, "That's my guy..."

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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