Why Rick Smith is most qualified candidate

Hoge: Why Bears require Rick Smith as basic supervisor initially appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The paradox of Bears chairman George McCaskey declining to employ a layer of responsibility in between the basic supervisor and ownership is that it in fact makes the group’s GM opening much more appealing.

“The general manager will be responsible for the entire football operation,” McCaskey stated today.

Think of the paid announcement. Pertain to Chicago, acquire Justin Fields and run the whole football operation. Call now, and you don’t even require to report to group president Ted Phillips!

However here’s the catch: by not having the basic supervisor report to Phillips, the brand-new GM will technically be even more detailed to the top, with even less responsibility and less check-and-balances above him.

And when you consider it like that, yikes, the Bears much better hire somebody who understands that they are doing.

It has actually been a longstanding argument of mine that the Bears experience The Peter Concept, which mentions: “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his/her level of incompetence.” Essentially, employees keep getting promoted until they are no longer qualified to perform their required duties at a high level. 

Is there a better example than putting the team’s finance guy, Phillips, in charge of football? Well, maybe putting the ticket guy, George, in charge of the whole organization. 

Yet again, those two are in the interview room, but the key this time around will be to hire someone who is not only qualified to be a general manager, but is actually overqualified. If McCaskey is unwilling to hire a president of football operations, he should a GM capable of being the president of football operations — since that is the job he’s actually asking the GM to do.

And that’s where one known GM candidate stands out above the rest: Rick Smith.

Smith not only served as a successful general manager for a different dysfunctional NFL franchise — the Houston Texans — but he was promoted to executive vice president of football operations in 2012, the position he held when the Texans boldly traded up to draft Deshaun Watson in 2017. 

Smith got in a losing circumstance in 2006, taking control of a franchise that was just in its 5th year of presence and had yet to have a winning season. It took a couple of years, however Smith’s Texans ultimately won 4 AFC South titles, and his finger prints were all over 2 more department titles after he left group in 2017 to look after his ailing better half, who passed away of breast cancer in 2019. 

The Texans never ever advanced beyond the divisional round of the playoffs under Smith, however they won 4 championship game, which is another than the Bears have actually won considering that Ted Phillips took control of as group president in 1999. 

Ultimately, the Texans’ dysfunction did Smith in. While he took a leave of lack, the reality is that he was likewise stuck in a power battle with head coach Costs O’Brien — and O’Brien won. 

The outcomes have actually been dreadful for the Texans. From the DeAndre Hopkins free gift, to Watson declining to play another video game for the franchise, to owing David Culley $17 million after simply one season as head coach — oh, how the Texans miss out on Rick Smith. 

However their loss will be the gain of whichever franchise is wise enough to employ him once again. The Bears terribly require somebody with Smith’s experience to lead a whole football operation. They require somebody to bring back the reliability of the company. 

They require somebody who is overqualified. The only other recognized prospect that even approaches that discussion is Steelers vice president of football and service administration Omar Khan, however even he hasn’t been a basic supervisor prior to. Jeff Ireland, who talked to with the group Friday, has actually been a GM, however he brings some luggage and does not have the exact same pedigree of success.

The constant error made under the management of George McCaskey is stopping working to employ the most apparent prospect. If Smith still has the drive and inspiration to leap back into the video game as a basic supervisor, there’s little concern he’s the most certified prospect for the job. 

Smith not just ought to be the Bears’ leading target, he requires to be the Bears’ leading target. 

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.