Ernie Accorsi on search that resulted in Bears' GM-coach combination

"Finally we get to Friday, and I bump into Fox, and Fox says, 'You've been ducking me all week.' I said, 'I don't want to talk to you. I'm afraid of what you're going to tell me.' He said, 'We may just shut them out.' And we did (41-0). I thought we had a chance to win because we could score, but I thought we were going to win 45-38. He said, 'We may just shut them out,' and we did. And John doesn't say that kind of stuff … to be boastful or bravado or anything like that."

What are the challenges for a new GM and coach to forge their relationship to the point they can honestly evaluate the roster?

"They're experts in their field. Then the obvious is, 'Who do you keep?' You have to make roster decisions about how to rebuild the team and whatever you're going to do. And they're both of the mind: Let's find out who's good here — because you don't want to go in and start just getting rid of players when you might have a lot of good players. That's one part.

"The key to the relationship is that they trust each other and that they can work together and complement each other, and there's no doubt in my mind that they will. You see model relationships. Kevin Colbert, I mentioned, with every coach he has had. You look at John Schneider and Pete Carroll (with the Seahawks). The successful tandems in the league, the ones that win, they're compatible. Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton, they work together and they help each other. Neither one wants the other's job. That's what you have to be, and if you have that, you have half the battle won. The business is the matter of judgment. You have to be able to make proper judgments on your acquisitions of players and your manipulation of the roster.

cComments Hail Ernie Accorsi.....the wicked witch is dead! WHODAMAN1 AT 9:18 AM JANUARY 24, 2015 ADD A COMMENTSEE ALL COMMENTS
1 "The one thing that there's no question (about is) Fox will coach them. He'll get the best out of them. And to be honest with you, to me, it's even more important that he lost two Super Bowls. Because having lost one, I know what it's like. He knows. We've talked about it. The fact is that you never get that out of your system, and you can't sleep until you rectify that. He is possessed with going to the Super Bowl and winning it. I mean, he lost one by three points. He tied the game with 1 minute, (8) seconds to go, and the kicker kicked the ball out of bounds. So that's how close he came to beating (Bill Belichick and the Patriots). There's a drive and a hunger there that was obvious from the first time we even met."

How interested were the candidates in Jay Cutler, in particular?

"Well, they evaluated the team for everybody. John had the least amount of time for it because he had just coached on Sunday, but we understood that. We wanted to get him in there right way. I don't want to talk about what they said about the quarterback, but they evaluated the quarterback and gave their opinion on the quarterback. They're willing to make this work. All of them were. But that's for them to talk about. I'm not involved in that.

You functioned in New York, the biggest market out there. Do you think there's anything about the city of Chicago, the market here, the stage here that makes these jobs unique?

"I do. If you count these last couple of years as a consultant, I have 44 years in the National Football League. I have found that the bigger markets, I enjoyed the media more. Generally, when you're in a city like New York or Chicago or L.A., everybody aspires to work in those cities, so you're talking about the best, usually. Everybody wants to work in New York. Everybody wants to work in Chicago. That's what your goal is. I was a sportswriter. That's where I wanted to work. I never made it. I made it to Philadelphia. That's as far as I made it, which is a good place to work.

I never ever had a major problem with a member of the media anywhere, and I never even came close to having one in New York. And we had a couple of bad years, and they were tough, no question about it.

"But I think, first of all, John is exposed to all that. The other thing about today is every job has a national media now because of the Internet and social media. It's not like it used to be. You would be able to say something in Kansas City 30 years ago that never got out of there unless the AP guy got it and put it on the wire. Every fan is a reporter now because he has Twitter and he puts it out there, and the media people scan that to make sure they don't miss anything.

"John has been through it, plus John was in New York for five years. He knows. I think that they'll both be fine with it. I watched Ryan handle that first press conference. For a guy who had never had one in his life, I thought he did very well. I remember my first. I was a nervous wreck. You stand up there, it's intimidating."

Ted's role is a talking point here. Is there an important difference between a GM that reports straight to the owner and a GM with a team president who's over him, particularly in this case? Is there an important distinction with that structure?

"Well, I can't speak for other organizations, but after observing the relationship between Ted and George, they're almost as one. They know each other so well. They understand each other so well. It was so easy for me with the two of them because they were 1 and 1A, and all the communication was with both of them. They were so compatible and got along so well, understood each other so well and had such a great relationship. That is not going to be any kind of problem at all for Ryan. None at all."

"I told both of them, 'There is no better job in this league.' I said you have a family that owns the team, that their whole life's work has been this franchise. They founded the damn league. It's the same family. I said you have Ted Phillips, who's a great person, smart as heck, fits in just so perfectly with George. And you have the Chicago Bears.

"I'm not making this up, and a lot of it was Piccolo, but it was a thrill to walk in that building every day because it's a museum. I would look around, and I didn't miss a picture or a display because it's the Chicago Bears. I know I'm older. I followed pro football when there were 12 teams. I know how muc

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