PHIL EMERY DID WHAT?
Bruce Arians is a cool guy, a terrific hat wearer and his personality would have been a perfect match for the city of Chicago. (Look at how “beer and a shot Maddon” was universally beloved by Chicago media Monday.) To assume, however, that his not being hired by Phil Emery was some kind of administrative debacle is second-guessing of the worst kind. Yes, Arians won Coach of the Year. But he won that award less because of his work and more because his head coach that season was sidelined due to intense cancer treatments and he was put in charge of Andrew Luck. You know who else is going to win a lot of games as a head coach of Andrew Luck? Every single head coach with the luxury of having Andrew Luck as his quarterback.
Bruce Arians would not be any guarantee to make Cutler and this offense better. And his defensive coordinator of choice, Todd Bowles, would be no more successful with this absence of defensive talent.
Less his final decision, Emery’s approach to hiring the head coach has come under scrutiny recently and seems to have been something of a masterclass in weirdness. Think that’s too harsh? Let’s look at the two major elements revealed in various reports:
- Arians was asked to do a mock press conference less than a month removed from doing multiple press conferences almost every single week of the 2012 season. I can understand a general manager wanting to evaluate the media savvy of a potential big market head coach but it wouldn’t take longer than nineteen seconds with Arians to understand he’d be just fine.
- Arians is quoted as stating it was “awkward” being told he’d need to keep certain assistant coaches (including Rod Marinelli, who didn’t stay) and said in no uncertain terms it was not going to happen. Why would Emery insist on a head coach keeping a defensive coordinator who had yet to commit to the organization for the following season? Maybe before telling Bruce that Rod would be his defensive coordinator he should have asked Rod? The whole thing is, just, weird.
Also, was Marc Trestman so desperate to be an NFL head coach he would have accepted any terms? Does a man so desperate for his shot have it in his system to take over the leadership of a locker room?