Is Bears president Ted Phillips on the hot seat?

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As mentioned recently in connection with the ongoing employment of Rod Wood in Detroit, the best job with any NFL team is team president. It has a very high salary, and it has very low accountability.

Wood has lasted in his job for five years, none of which have been particularly successful for the Lions. In the same division, Bears president Ted Phillip has now served in that job for 21 years.

An employee of the team since 1983, the accountant by training has had his hands on the wheel of a proud and storied franchise that has been to the playoffs only five times during his tenure as team president. Three years ago, the question of Phillips’ ongoing job security was raised here. Far closer to the bone, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune recently noted that “[t]here has been an increasing tide of questions” regarding Phillips’ future.

The question is this: How accountable should Phillips be for the performance of the team? Though he’s not in football operations, he hires and fires the people in football operations.

How many General Managers and coaches should a team president get to hire before the team president becomes the person who is fired? People with those jobs do a nice job of avoiding scrutiny by arguing that they’re not part of the football side of the business. (Some also do a nice job of claiming credit when things go well.) Still, at some point (like, say, after two decades of underachievement) fair and tough questions should be asked about the person who essentially runs the team on behalf of ownership.

Although owners can’t be fired, everyone else can be. In Chicago, the question of whether Phillips should be has not yet landed in the middle of the radar screen. Whether or not that happens in the midst of a season of promise that has become a season of underperformance ultimately is up to those who hold the power to make the big decisions.

19 responses to “Is Bears president Ted Phillips on the hot seat?

  1. What nonsense.

    Team presidents are responsible for the BUSINESS side of operations. For all we know, he could be raking in record profits for the Bears owners.

  2. No, he is not in danger. Y’all are looking at this all wrong. The main function of the Chicago Bears is to provide an income to the McCaskey clan. Winning would be a plus, but not the primary concern. NFL is an entertainment media. Income is down this year, and the cap will be smaller next year. The last thing the McCaskey family wants is to eat a lot of salary by firing and still paying people under contract. The NFL is contracting financially and preservation of assets is the primary concern. The fans really don’t understand the situation. They want to win, and so do the McCaskey’s, but their lifestyle is more important to them.

  3. What the Bears really need to do is follow the lead of the Bulls and the Cubs. Cubs hired Theo Epstein (now replaced by Jed Hoyer) and the Bulls hired Arturas Karnisovas to be the “lead guy” overseeing baseball and basketball operations, respectively.

    Go make Eric DeCosta an offer he can’t refuse to leave the Ravens to become the Epstein/AK of the Bears…the President of Football Operations. Let him hire the next GM and remake the entire football side of the organization. Move Sweaty Teddy over to run the business side which, as an NFL franchise valued at $4,000,000,000, pretty much takes care of itself.

  4. Way past time for a change. The Bears are dragging the division down, just not as bad as the Lions. Playoff berths 5 times since 1983 is awfully bad. They should have kept Lovie Smith. I wonder why they didn’t? He was winning consistently. Both Smith & Caldwell in Detroit were both winning, what else do they have in common? Oh, yeah…

  5. The answer is simple. Common wisdom 3 strikes and you are out. I am harsher than most. Two failures in a row and you are done. Burn me once shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. There is no burn me thrice.

    A GM needs 3 years to show progress. You can not really evaluate until after 5. So a mistake at the president level is likely to cost you a decade.

  6. One of the best comments I’ve heard was on the radio from Steve Young

    He said “ some organizations/ cities are always recognized and known to a certain style of play. Any coach must fit the city and the fan base”

    Look at SF. Known for offense. Joe Montana, steve young, Jerry rice, Bill Walsh, west coast

    NYG you think parcells, Belichick, Lawrence Taylor, Tom Coughlin. Tough hard asses

    Look at a city like Pittsburgh Tomlin and cowherd. Tough hard nosed, straight forward defensive minded. Always known for its defense (steel curtain)

    When I Think of Chicago. I think Mike singletary, Buddy Ryan, urlacher
    The bears need a defensive coach

    They should can the whole front office and go back to their roots

  7. Who is Ted Phillips? If he hired Pace and Pace tossed all the picks for Mack and Trubisky and out them in cap hell with not enough offensive weapons, and overall weak draft yields minus Cohen, Jackson, Smith and Fuller, then yes. Your best offensive draft pick can’t be a scatback from Carolina A and T.

    So, yes, he’a on the hotseat.

  8. touchback6 says:
    December 3, 2020 at 2:01 pm
    Who is Ted Phillips? If he hired Pace and Pace tossed all the picks for Mack and Trubisky and out them in cap hell with not enough offensive weapons, and overall weak draft yields minus Cohen, Jackson, Smith and Fuller, then yes. Your best offensive draft pick can’t be a scatback from Carolina A and T.

    So, yes, he’a on the hotseat.
    Maybe he’ll draft a scat-back from Jackson State?

  9. When you have people who dont care about football making football decision, you got problems.

    They had the right idea in 2015, bringing in outside help to point them the right direction. The problem was the help was Ernie Accorsi. A dude FAR removed from the game. They need to cast the WIDEST NET on the planet. A process that hopefully has already started. They need to be reaching out to every respectable mind in football over the last 20 years. Not just Ernest Accorsi.

    Or just make it simple and trade for Bellichick.

  10. Preach Florio! Preach!
    Phillips is a member of the McCaskey family and his role before Team Prez was the manager of the season tickets allocations. Seriously.
    I’ve been saying this fir YEARS. You see it all the time on Twitter/Facebook from the fans…”Fire Pace and Nagy” then it was “Fire Nagy and John Fox” before that “Fire Emery and Trestman” before that “Fire Angelo and Lovie Smith”, the. It was Dick Jauron, then it was Dave Wannstedt. Always rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  11. The only qualification for team president Rod Wood had was being the Ford Family’s Major Domo. Hiring Quinn should lead to his immediate retirement.

  12. rho2020 has hit the nail on the head and as long as the stands are full (after the pandemic) and beer is selling at $10 per cup Ted’s job is safe.

  13. This guy is the source of most of the organizational suckage, and a good friend to Michael McCaskey so it is possible his run could be over. It won’t matter, George would just put his own version of sycophant in. This this is a mess as long as the family owns it.

  14. “… They should have kept Lovie Smith. I wonder why they didn’t?…”

    They got tired of 10 wins and a 1st round playoff loss every year. Thought they wanted to do better, but apparently January games interfere with the McCaskey vacation plans or something…

  15. I don’t buy the “city of defense, go back to your roots.” Chicago doesn’t care, they just want a contender. Wins. ’06 it was recognized defense doesn’t win championships anymore and that should have been solidified in ’18.

    Balanced football makes a team competitive. Rodgers has a ton of playoff appearances but only one ring to show for it. Heavily offensive minded, defense is the drag.

    Phillips on down, show them the door. Not sure what to do with the cap situation.

  16. to beardownfromthefrontrange: Be patience and wait. there is little quick magic in making a bad team good again and with little talent in the current Bears hopper this is a 3 to 5 year project if done right and with a bit of luck. My guess is that we just get more wandering in the desert from HALAS HALL.

  17. If Virgini and George really cared. I mean if they really cared. They would have to be wondering, what the hell is going on here?.. You would think they might be tired of being embaressed on national tv. Over and over again. If you won’t or can’t sell the team. Teddy has to go at the very least. Please, do something. And show the millions of fans that you at least care

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