There’s a buzz in the air this morning. Could Ted Phillips really be stepping down as Chicago Bears President and CEO of Football Operations? Phillips could be ready for a revised role with the Bears, according to a report from Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune.
Ted Phillips Background
Ted Phillips joined the team’s staff in 1983 as the team’s controller. In 1993, Phillips became the team’s Vice President. Prior to assuming the Vice President of Operations role, Phillips served as the Director of Finance. He became the team’s President and CEO of Football Operations in 1999, replacing Michael McCaskey.
That’s the history, but it doesn’t explain his previous work history before the Bears. Before joining the organization, Phillips was an auditor and tax accountant with the international accounting firm Ernst & Whinney from 1979-83.
In other words, Ted Phillips’ background revolves more around the money and business side of things. He wasn’t hired as a football expert with a ton of knowledge about the game or the product on the field. Phillips has made the McCaskey family a lot of money and spearheaded renovations such as the expansion to Halas Hall, and he was a key negotiator in landing the Bears a new home at Soldier Field.
The Role Moving Forward
As we now know, the Bears have signed a purchase agreement for Arlington International Racecourse, an event that sets up a potential location change and a new stadium for the Bears. Given Phillips’ past work on renovations and the job he’s done with similar negotiations, the McCaskey family certainly would like to keep him around.
However, he can stick around while not having his hands on football operations. Maybe that’s where Ryan Pace comes in? More on that later.
The biggest takeaway from this? Maybe the team is finally realizing that they need someone with more knowledge about the game and the product on the field. Now, these are private discussions Ted Phillips has had about distancing himself from football operations, according to Dan Wiederer. We don’t know if he will step down and take on a different role with the organization, but it’s a positive sign of things to come.
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