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Phil Emery ‘very pumped up’ to lead Bears as franchise’s new GM

Phil Emery new General Manager Chicago Bears is introduced Monday January 30 2012 Halas Hall Lake Forest. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Phil Emery, the new General Manager of the Chicago Bears, is introduced Monday January 30, 2012 at Halas Hall in Lake Forest. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 30, 2012 6:58PM

The Bears introduced new general manager Phil Emery at a news conference Monday at Halas Hall.

Emery becomes the fifth general manager in franchise history. He replaces Jerry Angelo, who had been in the position from 2001 until Jan. 3, when he was fired after an 8-8 season.

“I know we found the right guy,” Bears president Ted Phillips said. “Phil brings a wealth of experience. And most importantly, he brings leadership. That’s the thing that struck me the most. What great presence Phil has.

“The job of general manager is an enormous responsibility. It goes so much further than being a talent evaluator. His credentials there are impeccable.”

Emery has history with the Bears. He started his NFL career as an area scout with the club in 2004, after serving as a college assistant and even an associate professor at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Emery started off by thanking the McCaskey family and called the interview process an “amazing experience.”

“It’s an honor and privilege to represent this great franchise,” Emery said. “I’m very pumped up about this opportunity to lead this franchise.

“I have been here before and that was a great experience. The people in this building have a true passion for winning. I’m proud to be right back in the thick of it, in the quest to win championships.

“We want people to have a passion for the Bears.”

He also said he is excited to work with coach Lovie Smith, and noted that he will trust the coaching staff to Smith.

“I’m excited to be around him and his staff as we build toward championships,” Emery said. “I have a very good feel for where this team is at. This team has a very good core of play-making players.

“My job moving forward ... is to continue to build this team so that we can be consistent winners and consistently be in the hunt to win championships.”

Emery said his way of grading players is different from Angelo.

“I’m a very different person than Jerry,” Emery said. “I worked with Jerry, and I respect him but we both come from different backgrounds.”

Emery said he’ll be bringing in the “Patriot” scouting system, although he made clear it’ll have tweaks.

“I have full control [of the 53-man roster],” he said.

Emery praised quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Brian Urlacher.

“He’s a player who is still making plays. I know that,” he said of Urlacher.

Emery got his first NFL break when Tim Ruskell, then the Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager, hired him to become the team’s college scouting director.

Before the news conference Monday, Ruskell was let go as Bears director of player personnel. The decision was termed “mutually agreed upon,” and Ruskell is expected to collect the remaining portion of his contract.

In 2009, Emery was hired by the Kansas City Chiefs as its college scouting director, working under general manager Scott Pioli. At the news conference, Emery stressed that Pioli has greatly influenced him.

Last Tuesday, Pioli told the Sun-Times Emery was ready to become a general manager.

“The things that stand out are his work ethic, his work habits, how detailed he is, how meticulous he is,” Pioli told the Sun-Times. “He’s a very good teacher, and he’s a very good listener.

“Those things are valuable, in that position. I also feel that he’s a good evaluator of talent.”

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