Phil Emery fired Lovie Smith yesterday, but won a lot of people over in his press conference today. Some highlights are below, along with an audio stream of the full presser.
Note: There are audio issues at the 38/39 minutes marks... This was due to some technical issues at Halas Hall.
On Jay Cutler:
"I think he's an outstanding leader. He reminds me a lot of George Halas, as a player," McCaskey said. "Outstanding competitor, toughness, and will do anything to win."
"Jay Cutler is the most talented quarterback the Bears have here in the last 60 years," McCaskey said. "He's a very good quarterback. He wants to be great, and he needs to be great, and we need to do what we can to achieve that."
"I see Jay as a franchise quarterback," Emery said. "We have to build around him."
On Devin Hester:
"I saw the comments. I felt for Devin. Again, I take all that in context of these guys had played a long time ... Devin came in as a draft pick with Lovie. I certainly understand the emotion. There will be a time when his emotions clear."
"Obviously, Devin is under contract, so if he sent his retirement papers in, I would know. But I don't anticipate that. I think he's a great competitor. I think that was an emotional situation that evoked an emotional response, and I certainly understand that."
On Lovie Smith:
"It was a tough decision. Lovie had a good run here of good, competitive teams." Emery pointed to missing the playoffs five of the last six seasons as a key part of the decision to let Lovie go.
Emery also said that Ted Phillips and George McCaskey empowered him to make the decision. He had not made the decision until Monday morning.
After the press conference, David Haugh, not known as Mr. Congeniality in the Chicago media scene, tweeted this:
"Emery wraps up one of most thoughtful, transparent press conferences the Bears have had in awhile. Up there with the Brandon Marshall intro."
And from NW Herald:
"I'm always impressed by Phil Emery's attention to detail when he talks about the #Bears. He clearly is in love with football."
We'll have more press conference highlights later, but for those who saw/heard it, what are your thoughts?