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Ted Phillips on Labor, Other Issues

Ted Phillips gave his thoughts to Larry Meyer on Friday; follow us below the jump to learn his thoughts on subjects such as the labor issue, free agency and the kickoff rule, among others.

On the possibility regular season games will be cancelled:

"I’m optimistic at heart. I remain hopeful because I think the last proposal the owners made was thorough and thoughtful. I believe it represents a solid basis to continue negotiations with the players. The players have said they have concerns about the proposal. Well, that’s what collective bargaining is all about, and we need to be at the bargaining table.

On the kickoff rule change:

Although it was passed for safety reasons, I think it definitely discriminates against clubs like the Bears, not just because we have strong special teams and elite kick returners but because we’ve invested a considerable amount of money in those players as well. Personally, I’m not convinced that injuries will be diminished significantly, and if they are it’s going to be because there’s a significant increase in touchbacks, which then has a negative effect of eliminating probably the most exciting play in the game. I would have liked to have seen the rule modified where maybe it just prevented players from lining up more than five yards behind the ball. See how that goes, see if injuries diminish just with that change alone for a year or two as opposed to changing the kickoff spot.

On George McCaskey taking over as the chairman of the board:

"I think George is going to be a good listener, so I don’t think he’s going to make any changes just for change sake. I think he’ll be thoughtful, enthusiastic and supportive, and that’s what you want from ownership and from the chairman. I would also like to say that I’ve been honored to be able to work with and learn from Michael McCaskey for 27 years. His love and passion for the Bears is unmatched. His insight has taught me what a blessing it is to have a career in the NFL."

On the Bears' lack of push for a new artificial turf:

"First of all, I think the game of football has always been meant to be played on grass. I think past player surveys have shown overwhelmingly that players league-wide prefer to play on grass and they also have a perception that more injuries occur on infill surfaces than on grass. With that being said, we’re going to continue to monitor advancements in infill surfaces. We’re going to continue to look at the most recent research. The most current example was at the league meetings in New Orleans where there was a presentation made by the NFL foot and ankle sub committee. It was very interesting. One of the things they found—which I think has been known—is that an infill surface tends to grab your foot more than a grass surface. They have very advanced testing methods now and the latest research findings will provide information to shoe manufacturers to help them try to design a shoe and cleats that interact better with infill surfaces. The goal is to make infill surfaces more grass-like. ... With a better design of infill surfaces and a better shoe design, perhaps we could get a comfort level where we would consider switching from grass at some point in the future. ... It should also be noted that our won-loss record at Soldier Field with natural grass in the months of November, December and January with Lovie as our head coach has been outstanding."

Your thoughts on his thoughts?