Monday, January 30, 2012

Bears Hire Phil Emery as GM

Like many football coaches, Emery worked at a string of colleges before taking on his first job in professional football. He was a student assistant at Wayne State, a graduate assistant at Central Michigan, an offensive line/strength and conditioning coach at Western New Mexico, and then a defensive line coach at Georgetown College.

He worked as a defensive line/ strength and conditioning coach at Saginaw Valley State and then assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Tennessee Volunteers.

Perhaps one of Emory's most powerful experiences was his relatively long stint as the Director of Strength and Conditioning Services and Associate Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy from ’91-98. The commitment of the Naval Academy Midshipmen and the experience of working with highly disciplined athletes would likely set the bar high for acquisition targets--focusing heavily on acquisition of players "with character."

Emery paid his dues in the college ranks before he became a scout for the Bears from 1998-2004. Then, from 2004-08, he served as director of college scouting for the Atlanta Falcons and then served as Chiefs Director of College Scouting under Scott Pioli for the past three years. It's probably safe to assume that Emory shares Pioli's and Belichick's philosophy of drafting players with character and commitment to the team. Pioli summed up this philosophy, "Individuals make Pro Bowls, teams win championships."

Contrary to popular media sentiment, the Bears have shown a willingness to go out and get established players they need even from the ranks of the highly-compensated. But such acquisitions can cost draft picks and successful teams have to establish a good balance of draftees, free agent acquisitions and trades. Emery brings an abundance of experience in talent acquisition from drafts and judgment and extensive experience evaluating prospects from many different perspectives including character.

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Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Patrick McCaskey's Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout and other fine sports books. Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout is a personal chronicle of Chicago Bears Senior Director Patrick McCaskey that looks back at decades of spiritual enrichment and life lessons from athletes, coaches, religious and everyday people. McCaskey recalls the stories of those who strived to make the cut on and off the field—plus people who left comfortable lives to serve the under-served in extraordinary ways.