Is Ted Phillips the Best Choice for the Chicago Bears?


This evening, I’m going to Halas Hall to hear a radio broadcast that includes Ted Phillips, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith. It’s for season ticket holders. So it got me to doing a little thinking about the performance of the three.

I’m not Smith’s biggest fan, but he certainly has enough of a track record to warrant being the head coach. I’m a fan of Jerry Angelo. His moves are generally the right ones for the Chicago Bears but his drafts are a bit suspect in the higher rounds and strong in the lower ones. Then I came to Phillips…

I just wonder if it’s time for him to go? He helped pioneer the new Soldier Field deal. However, the stadium has the smallest capacity in the NFL. The turf issues are beaten like a dead horse. But does his leadership command the respect to get the right thing done? The Chicago Bears are regularly dealing with this turf issue and yet the Chicago Park District treats Soldier Field like it isn’t a professional football stadium. I’d expect the Chicago Bears team president to demand that Soldier Field be left alone during football season or a good artificial surface be installed. The field situation is an embarrassing one and the Chicago Bears need to flex its muscles. I’m just not sure if Phillips is the guy to do it.

I’ve met him on a few occasions. He’s always been friendly…but I can see why he’d rub many people the wrong way…He’s arrogant and very egotistical. His press conferences are painful. He doesn’t appear to respect the media or treat difficult questions with much respect. I’m not saying he has to be a media darling, but his attitude almost makes him come across like he’s doing everyone a favor.

Let’s rewind to the end of the 2008 season when Smith, Angelo and Phillips had their infamous press conference. The Chicago Bears were coming off of their second disappointing season in a row after going to the Super Bowl in 2006. Many felt at that time changes were needed both with the coaching staff and front office. The solution was Smith demoting his defensive coordinator Bob Babich to his original position of linebackers coach and Smith taking over as defensive coordinator. It wasn’t so much the idea, but the pure arrogance that particular day.

Smith was very docile, Angelo was on the offensive and Phillips really was irritating. Not only did Phillips seem annoyed by this whole exercise, he came across like a spoiled only child. When asked a question, his responses were snitty non-answers. I can understand how being questioned can lead one to this level of frustration, but to act like you were doing someone a favor during your event was so wrong. It wasn’t like he was cornered on the street.

After the press conference was a total disaster, what was Phillips’ response? The next few media events were closed to recording devices. It’s very hard to have the media respect your leadership when you treat them like small children and act like the sandbox tough guy.

I’m sure the Chicago Bears are profitable. Last season, Forbes Magazine ripped on the organization for not maximizing its earning potential. It referenced several reasons including the stadium, poor Chicago Bears Website and lack of vision as reasons where this organization needed to improve. Phillips response was basically to tell Forbes that he likes the Website and thinks Soldier Field is a wonderful stadium. Isn’t this what they meant by a lack of vision..denying there’s problems and refusing to fix these concerns?

Perhaps it’s time to replace the head of the problem?

Follow me on Twitter at ChicagoBearJew.

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