The big news is that Ernie Accorsi has been hired as a consultant by McCaskey and Phillips to aid in the search for a new general manager.
"You can never have enough expert football opinions," Phillips said.
Accorsi has an extensive career as an executive. He was with the Baltimore Colts when they drafted John Elway and wanted to keep him (Check out the ESPN Documentary "From Elway to Marino" for more on that). He also was with the Browns and got them Bernie Kosar. He last worked as a GM with the New York Giants and hired Tom Coughlin and pulled off the Philip Rivers for Eli Manning trade, one of the biggest and most complex trades in recent NFL history.
Accorsi last consulted with the Panthers in 2012. Wikipedia lists that lasting through 2014 but I think he helped them replace their last GM from what I am seeing online. That search led them to Dave Gettleman. McCaskey also mentioned that Accorsi was a suite-mate with Brian Piccolo at Wake Forest.
George said the new coach will have an opportunity to interview remaining assistants who have been retained, which is everyone except for Aaron Kromer. Phillips mentioned that Matt Cavanaugh's contract is expiring. The coaches will be able to pursue other opportunities in the mean time, though.
"Nobody played up to the expectations this year," said Phillips.
George McCaskey says they do not regret Jay Cutler's contract, "that was a decision made by Phil with our approval."
As for the cost of firing the coach and the GM with years left on their contract, George said: "We decided to do what's best for the Bears regardless of the money situation."
Here are some more tweets from the media:
George says he is more dialed in around the NFL now than he was 3 years ago so that will help him in this search process.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 29, 2014
Ted on next coach: "We don't want to box ourselves in by saying a coach or GM has to have expertise on one side of the ball.''— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) December 29, 2014
George: "I don't know if I can establish a hierarchy of pain but this was a painful season.— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) December 29, 2014
George says no one thing that Emery/Trestman did sealed their fate: it was "an evaluation of their body of work."
#Bears Phillips - talent gap "not where we want to be or we wouldn't be here today"— John Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin) December 29, 2014
Phillips: "This was Phil's third year. We didn't make the playoffs a single year. That was a problem."— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) December 29, 2014
Accorsi will sit in on interviews and make recommendations but final say on hire will be done by Phillips and McCaskey.
Ted on difference of hiring process from Emery & Trestman hires: "Bringing in an expert consultant like Ernie Accorsi" is a huge difference.— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) December 29, 2014
George denies that contact was made with Jim Harbaugh. George uses the words "pissed off" when referring to the Bears' matriarch Virginia Halas McCaskey. He took a long, long, long pause before using that phrase and expanding on that thought. Anyone who sees the highlights would say that McCaskey is clearly passionate and takes this all personally.
"She's fed up with mediocrity. She feels that she and Bears fans deserve better." Win it for Virginia!— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) December 29, 2014
Ernie Acorsi was the assistant to George Halas when he was president of the National Football Conference. Suite-mate to Brian Piccoli at WF— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) December 29, 2014
McCaskey says the #Bears need to "re-establish their identity." "When teams play us they need to know they've been through hell."— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) December 29, 2014
McCaskey on the #Packers: "We enjoy very much disliking them very much."— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) December 29, 2014
When asked about Jay Cutler, McCaskey said he liked him "personally and professionally" but all personnel decisions will be made by the new general manager and coach.
Despite concerns by media and fans about ownership structure and roster, McCaskey and Phillips allege that plenty of people want to run the team:
Phillips said just today, he's been contacted by representatives of a half-dozen interested candidates for the job. #Bears— dan durkin (@djdurkin) December 29, 2014
Ted Phillips: "We want to see a team that is tough in all three phases."— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 29, 2014
GM/coach is not ideal according to Phillips:
Ted Phillips says they don't want to hire coach who's also GM: "Recent history has shown that doesn't work as it may have in the past."— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) December 29, 2014
What are your thoughts about all of this stuff?