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A Look at the Phil Emery Drafts in the Wake of Jon Bostic’s Trade to New England

| September 29th, 2015

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2014

Outside of Pat O’Donnell, who I think is one heck of a punter, there is a possibility this draft does not produce a single long-term starter at any of the 22 positions. That would be a nightmare scenario for the Bears. There is also, however, a chance it produces three. If Fuller, Ferguson and Sutton are not productive components on the defense moving forward, GM Ryan Pace is truly starting from scratch with this rebuild.

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2013

Just…wow. Kyle Long was the steal of the 2013 draft. Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel, Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper were offensive linemen taking in the top ten of this draft and Long is better than all of them by a significant margin. The Bears have gotten zero production from the remainder of the selections.

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Three Things I Really Like About Potential Bears GM Chris Ballard

| January 2nd, 2015

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WANTS the job.

When the Jets mentioned Ballard in their initial GM search beat writer Manish Mehta Tweeted the following:

Intriguing GM possibility for the Jets: Chiefs executive Chris Ballard. Feeling is Bears might be his top choice though.

This was Monday morning, just hours after Phil Emery had been fired, and Ballard’s camp was already letting media folks in other markets know he had his eyes squarely focused on Chicago. While the Chicago media seems hell bent on convincing fans nobody wants these jobs (completely untrue, by the way) here is a guy who would break down the doors of Halas Hall to take over the operation.

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Thoughts on George McCaskey Cleaning House Following Dismal 2014 Season

| December 30th, 2014

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I didn’t have one concrete theme from Black Monday but instead several distinct thoughts. Here they are.

Thought #1 – Emotion Not a Bad Thing

Football is a game of strategy and emotion. The strategy has spawned an entire industry of newfangled NFL writers who believe the $50 they spend for All-22 access makes them the heir apparent to Vince Lombardi. (X & O writing is quickly supplanting Combine analysis and salary cap breakdowns as the most surefire way to put me to sleep.) Strategy is why coaches are paid millions, why they sleep on their couches as their families fall apart at home and why play sheets now look like Greek diner menus in Clifton, New Jersey.

Emotion is the far less dissected issue, the far simpler issue and, in my estimation, just as important.

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Events of Last Two Weeks Make Clear Bears Biggest Need is Organizational Leadership

| December 18th, 2014

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Quick timeline…

Last week Aaron Kromer admitted to an act that would have led to his excommunication from 31 of the 32 NFL coaching staffs. But Marc Trestman, ever the genteel humanitarian,  wrapped his arms around a buddy and said, “People make mistakes. How about some cocoa over at my place?”

After that decision GM Phil Emery made clear in pre-Saints game comments the actions of Kromer (a) infuriated him and (b) would have been handled differently were he to have the power to handle them. Disciplining coaches does not come under the purview of the GM, Emery told us. That’s the head coach’s responsibility.

Now comes Wednesday night and the LEAK HEARD ROUND THE LEAGUE. Jay Cutler, the handsome man paid handsomely by Emery to be his franchise quarterback, was benched by the head coach in favor of Jimmy Clausen, a wretched quarterback with only one more win than me in the NFL. No word from coaches or front office alike led to a night and morning worth of speculation about last gasps from drowning coaches, $16M in injury settlements, Ken Whisenhunt trades…etc.

From the Twitter feed of Adam Hoge:

So Kromer doesn’t get fired, but Cutler gets benched? Trestman: “That’s a completely … That’s a question that I’m not going to answer.”

Of course that is a question Trestman is not going to answer. How can he answer it? What he was going to say is these issues are completely separate and he’s right. One individual admitted to publicly stabbing a player in the back. The other individual didn’t play well. He chose to fire the one who will have no impact on his future coaching career.

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Who Survives This?

| December 5th, 2014

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There is no reason to dissect the most recent Chicago Bears humiliation – this time at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. The individual drives, plays, moments do not matter. Because despite having beaten five teams over the course of their 2014 journey this Bears team has cemented their place as one of the worst in the proud lineage of the organization.

Now the only questions to be answered are ones of survival. Can Marc Trestman survive being the head coach of a team so noncompetitive week after week after week? Can Phil Emery survive having put Trestman in charge? Can Mel Tucker survive the weekend? Can the McCaskey family and Ted Phillips survive the public relations nightmare of making no changes?

This is all that’s left. Not talent evaluation. Not playing with pride. Nothing. The only relevant moment remaining in 2014 will be the announcement of who is not returning in 2015.

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Phil Emery Deserves Another Off-Season But Coaching Call Will Determine GM’s Fate

| December 1st, 2014

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The way I see it, Phil Emery has two options in the month of December:

Option #1

Emery crucifies Mel Tucker for the sins of the 2013-4 Chicago Bears and throws his full support behind head coach Marc Trestman. This decision would most likely make 2015 a Deliver or Here’s a Cardboard Box, Put Your Things In It year for both the GM and coach.

Option #2

Emery plays politics, walks into a meeting with Ted Phillips and George McCaskey and admits that after an almost gloatingly exhaustive head coaching search he chose the wrong man. This decision would enable Emery to hire a second head coach and possibly buy him 2-3 more years on the job.

Stubbornness or self-preservation? Will Emery continue to display the same defensive tactics he utilizes to rationalize the drafting of Shea McClellin or will he recognize what is evident to every single objective observer: the Bears have the wrong man in charge.

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Remainder of 2014 Chicago Bears Season is ‘For Entertainment Purposes Only’

| November 28th, 2014

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Note to the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and perhaps Phil Emery…

The rest of the 2014 Chicago Bears season should come with the same on-screen disclaimer as televised mediums: for entertainment purposes only. Nothing taking place over these coming four games – three to be played at Soldier Field – should be used to validate the efforts of the current coaching staff or inspire confidence in a crop of under-performing players. These games have no meaning. None. Zero.

Even if the Bears were to miraculously run the table, beating three well-quarterbacked teams competing for the postseason, this organization can’t insult their fan base by delivering vapid banalities like “the team rallied together” or “they fought to the very end” or “Coach Trestman never lost the confidence of his locker room.” After several mid-season embarrassments, Trestman and his coaching staff had an opportunity in Detroit to prove the team had rallied. The Bears had a chance to show their coaching staff confidence and competitive fight by performing against the Lions and providing meaningful football in the month of December. They failed.

Fans can excuse losing in the name of development. They can even excuse losing tight, hard-fought contests. They can not and should not excuse the noncompetitive nature of Marc Trestman’s Chicago Bears.

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