The firing of former head coach Lovie Smith back in December was an unpopular move among Chicago Bears fans. The Bears failed to reach the playoffs in 2012, but they finished the season with a 10-6 record. That type of success is usually enough for a coach to keep his job, especially one who had an 81-63 record and Super Bowl appearance during his nine-year tenure.
In an interview with Peter King of Sports Illustrated on Wednesday, Bears GM Phil Emery was asked about the team’s decision to fire Smith and replace him with Marc Trestman, who spent his last five seasons in the CFL. Emery implied that Jay Cutler had something to do with it.
“We were in a position where if he stayed, he would be picking his fifth offensive coordinator,” Emery explained. “Part of it was because I really believe looking at a team that if you’re going to have success, the most important relationship is between the head coach and the quarterback.
“I like our quarterback. I think Jay Cutler is very talented. He wants to improve. I know he needed to improve for us to be a championship team. When we were looking at making a change we knew that if we were going to do it we were going to make that the focus point. We had to work from that end.”
Incidents like this made it seem as though Cutler was very frustrated with the Bears’ offensive approach last season. He has already made it clear that he is excited to work with Trestman and unleash some new plays, so Emery’s comments aren’t all that surprising. They do, however, remind us that quarterbacks with big contracts generally get their way in the end.