In case you’ve been living on Mars for the past three years, then you have caught wind of the fact that former Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher doesn’t like former GM Phil Emery.
He hates him. Urlacher wasn’t shy about taking shots at the regime throughout the two years Emery was in charge and it all stemmed from the fateful day back in 2012. Emery had just taken over command and control for the Bears and was beginning his roster purge. Urlacher, at age 34 and coming off two bad leg injuries was among the big fish for him to reel in or cut bait.
The general assumptions about what happened are that Emery made an offer of around $2 million on a one-year deal to return for the 2013 season. Urlacher wanted $3.5 million. The two sides couldn’t draw any closer so the Bears elected to move on and the eight-time Pro Bowler was forced to retire.
Now with Phil Emery kicked to the curb after three seasons in charge, Urlacher opened up about what happened and why he was so pissed at the former GM.
“I just didn’t get along—I didn’t like the way he handled my situation or other situations around there with players. I didn’t like the way he acted sometimes. I just didn’t feel comfortable being in the building when he was around.
“I’m a huge fan of the McCaskeys. I’ve always said that, never quit saying that. I’m going to keep saying it. But there was one guy that I had a problem with, and he happened to be the guy that was everyone’s boss.”
“And I think he had more problems than just drafting, by the way. So I wouldn’t just stop there with his issues. Not to beat a dead horse or anything, though.”
Could this be that leadership void everybody was talking about? Indeed accountability starts at the top and given how the Bears regressed from 10-6 in 2012 to a 5-11 train wreck in 2014 speaks to more than just inadequate drafting. When the situation came around to Urlacher on his contract three years ago, he was a realist. He knew perfectly well he was getting older and couldn’t run like he used to. His issue was with how Emery handled the situation.
“But I still wanted to play. I feel like I could have still played. With another year of rehab on my knee, I probably could have played one or two more years.
“If he had said, ‘Hey man, you’re not the same player. You know that. We know that. But we still want you here. You’re a good leader. Blah, blah, blah. You’re a team guy, this, that. But we can’t pay you more than this. But we want you here. Can you do it?’
“Hell yeah, I can do it. If you handle it like that, 100 percent I can do it, you know? But the way it was handled—’This is the offer, take it over leave it. You have til tonight to decide. If you don’t want it, we’ll get somebody else. And then we’re going to tweet it out right when you say no.'”
There is no way to verify if this is true, but Brian Urlacher has no reason to lie at this point. Phil Emery is done as a GM and if it is true, then he has every reason to be happy.
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