8:41 AM CST, January 2, 2013
If Mike Holmgren is interested in coaching, then Phil Emery had better be interested in talking to him.
Holmgren told ESPN.com that he indeed would consider returning to the sideline, but isn’t aggressively seeking a job. If a guy says he wants to coach, I’d like to seem him go about it actively, especially when he’s 64 and we’re an ageist society, but Emery can be aggressive enough for both of them.
Call Holmgren in Arizona. Find out if the guy who tamed Brett Favre and made him a winner can do the same with the Bears’ version of the early foolish and stubborn Favre.
Jay Cutler has been compared to Favre in terms of physical talent and gunslinger mentality. Favre, of course, learned. Cutler, so far, has appeared unfazed by coaching. I don’t know if he thinks coaching is beneath him, but it certainly has eluded him.
The presumption is, Cutler can be developed into a big-boy quarterback. That’s near the top of Emery’s demands for the new coach: Come with a plan to develop Cutler or bring an offensive coordinator who has a plan of his own.
Among other criteria that the new coach must have, Emery first listed excellence in a role. How about a Super Bowl title in Green Bay and two other Super Bowl appearances? (Don’t hold Cleveland against Holmgren because Cleveland is Cleveland and always will be.)
Emery also demands great organizational skills, and I hope the inexperienced Bears GM wouldn’t be intimidated by a guy who has done every job up and down the management chart.
Emery wants a coach who can pull people together. He used the word syngery. Stop using the word synergy. People don’t want to work for a guy who uses the word synergy, and besides, it’s so 15 years ago.
Emery also wants a coach who can think on his feet and comfortably deal with media obligations. I wish Emery had said he wants a coach who can be honest with the public, but if not, Holmgren at least has earned the right to the level of smug that Lovie Smith wrongly felt entitled.
Emery’s other list, the one with the candidates on it, is long and wide because he is refusing to demand previous head-coaching experience. That’s not the way I’d do it, but Emery is allowed to make his own rules because he’s betting his job on it.
My problem with promoting a coordinator or somebody else who hasn’t done that job is that Emery will have to groom someone whose job is to groom a quarterback. I’d rather have a finished product somewhere along the way.
I’ve lobbied for the Bears to hire Jon Gruden for most of the same reasons I like the idea of Holmgren --- experienced, offensive smarts, Super Bowl title.
You want a coach who gets to the playoffs. You want a coach who wins Super Bowls. You want a coach who’s all about sustained success.
Holmgren made the playoffs seven straight years in Green Bay. He made the playoffs five straight years in Seattle. He has coached 24 postseason games, winning nine in Green Bay and four in Seattle. By comparison, The Bears have won four playoff games since Mike Ditka.
Oh, and don’t forget one Super Bowl and two NFC titles.
If Cutler can’t respect that and develop under a coach whose resume includes Favre, Joe Montana, Steve Young and Matt Hasselbeck, then it probably wouldn’t be the fault of the coach. Connect the dots, people. Anyone too dumb to learn from a coach who is that accomplished also is too dumb to quarterback the Bears.
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