Back in 1999 and 2004, I followed the Bears’ searches for a new head coach intently to the last detail. Differences at that time were that I had a hell of a lot more time on my hands, and (even in 2004) every tiny detail wasn’t available virtually immediately as it is now. Therefore, I was better able to have a handle at all times on what was going on.
This time around, I’m getting a little overwhelmed by all of the candidates and their statuses. This is a GREAT thing that Phil Emery is overturning every stone in the search for the right candidate. In 1999 and 2004, none of the candidates overwhelmed me. I think I hoped for Brian Billick in ’99, but the Ravens acted decisively while Michael McCaskey waited weeks for his minions to do their work. Then I hoped for Dave McGinnis, but that was only because of his connection to Mike Ditka. So that desire wasn’t necessarily the best thing that could have worked out.
In 2004, I suppose looking back that Tom Coughlin was the best candidate. But again, Jerry Angelo’s comedic search process ruined the possibility of hiring any of the best candidates. When it finally came down to Russ Grimm or Lovie Smith, I preferred Smith.
I can’t believe how different things are going this time around. I don’t have a real preference at this point-there seem to be so many up-and-coming candidates with positive virtues that I just don’t know myself. Thank God for everyone I’m not in charge, and being the General Manager of my own family and life, I have enough of my own to concentrate on.
I only have two thoughts at this point. The first is that I have actually started moving away from thinking that a Holmgren or (John) Gruden would be the right choice. I think that to truly build for the future, the Bears would be better off finding the NEXT Holmgren or Gruden. And second, I can’t believe it, but I actually feel that the General Manager of the Bears is going to make the right decision! How refreshing.
The only slight reservation I am feeling is if Phil Emery hires based on a previous connection, like Joe Decamillis, or a simple obsession with a military background, such as Mike Sullivan. I’m not saying that I think either of these candidates aren’t the right choice-they may be. But I hope Emery isn’t going to use personal preferences such as this as more important than the overall goal of getting the right guy.
But again, the great thing is, Emery has done nothing to make me think that he won’t make the absolute right decision. Whether the new hire might be Mike McCoy, Tom Clements, Bruce Arians, Sullivan, Marc Trestman or Rick Dennison, I really think he’s going to make the right hire.
I also see this morning that Seattle’s offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has been added to the list. I’m a little concerned there that I don’t remember Bevell having a lot of success unless/until he received players such as Brett Favre or Russell Wilson. But again, I trust in Emery.
I am eager to hear what you think!