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Bears GM: "We Want to Win and Win Now"

Phil Emery says firing Lovie Smith was an emotional call for the front office

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    NEWSLETTERS

    George Mycyk

    Bears General Manager Phil Emery took an hour Tuesday to explain the inner workings of the Chicago Bears to the media. But it took him just one season to fire Lovie Smith after nine years as coach of the Chicago Bears.

    "To get to be a championship team, to win it, we have to be in it more often," Emery explained, noting the Bears made just one trip to the playoffs in six seasons.

    Emery said the decision was based on Smith's entire body of work. He said that while the playoffs are important, making a deep run consistently is what was missing.

    "As a professional sports team and as a historic charter member of the greatest sports league in this world, the NFL, our number one goal always has to be to win championships, and to win championships we must be in contention on a consistent basis and to be in contention we have to be in the playoffs on a consistent basis," said Emery.

    Emery approached Bears Chairman George McCaskey and team President Ted Phillips who told him the firing of Smith was his call. It was an emotional decision felt in the front office.

    "It was very difficult. Our family has high regard for Lovie," McCaskey said. "He's been high character all the way through. He's represented the Bears very well."

    McCaskey said Smith didn't just teach Bears players how to play football, he taught them how to be men. Phillips said Smith felt he let the Bears owners down.

    "There was a sense of appreciation that he had nine years to get the job done," Phillips explained. "And I know that he failed in bringing a championship to the McCaskey family and that was a genuine feeling."

    Who will be next to try and follow in the footsteps of George Halas? That too will be Emery's call. The GM will conduct interviews and present the finalists to McCaskey and Phillips for a group decision.

    "I'm looking for a person that has excellence in his role; a leader. Someone who is highly organized and thorough in their approach" Emery said.

    College ranks or the NFL, Emery will leave no stone unturned. It's all about the synergy ... and the playoffs.

    "We want to win now. We want to be in that championship now. We want to win that championship now," he said.