Gabe Carimi is no longer a member of the Chicago Bears. Last night GM Phil Emery dealt him to the Tampa Bay Bucs for a box of potato blintzes and a measly sixth-round draft pick. I will spare readers of this column the Jerry Angelo bashing you’re going to find around the Bears-based internet today. We all know Angelo struggled in the early rounds of the NFL draft. I won’t be writing about Angelo because I don’t think this move should be viewed through the lens of negativity that skews his tenure. This move isn’t about him. It’s about Emery. It’s about the continually arriving landscape change on the Lakefront.
The Bears will no longer be a franchise content with insufficient talent on one side of the ball. No longer will Devin Hester be uncomfortably forced into the wide receiver position. No longer will J’Marcus Webb be allowed to haphazardly protect the blindside of the franchise quarterback. No longer will a player like Carimi be kept on the active roster strictly because he was selected among the first thirty-two individuals in the draft.
Offense is no longer an afterthought. ‘Tis a priority. Yes the Bears will still play defense. They always play defense. But that group will no longer be the first unit out of the tunnel. Linebackers have been the face of this organization for many-a-generation but unfortunately linebackers don’t score too many touchdowns. Touchdowns win football games.
This should not have taken so long. The Bears have approached offensive football in much the same manner the newspaper industry approached the internet. They ignored it and ignore it and ignored it, even as it usurped all other media forms. That ignorance led to a general irrelevance and the firing of a bunch of folks who probably should not have lost their jobs.
Now the Bears are playing catch-up. In year one of his tenure Phil Emery acquired two significant pass-catching weapons for his franchise quarterback. In year two he has added an offensive-minded head coach and several talented front line blockers. Emery’s approach to the organization can be summarized simply: he understands the objective of football is to score more points than the other guys and he’s adding human beings capable of achieving that goal.
The approach is to be celebrated. Professional. Tough. Clear. Phil Emery knows what he wants on the offensive side of the ball and the Bears have not been able to say that since number thirty-four was in the backfield. But results are, of course, are a must. The Bears can’t drop to a seven or eight-win team in 2013 and write it off to a new coaching staff. The Bears won ten games in 2012 and, at least on paper, are a far more talented team this coming season.