PHIL EMERY DID WHAT?
Bruce Arians is a cool guy, a terrific hat wearer and his personality would have been a perfect match for the city of Chicago. (Look at how “beer and a shot Maddon” was universally beloved by Chicago media Monday.) To assume, however, that his not being hired by Phil Emery was some kind of administrative debacle is second-guessing of the worst kind. Yes, Arians won Coach of the Year. But he won that award less because of his work and more because his head coach that season was sidelined due to intense cancer treatments and he was put in charge of Andrew Luck. You know who else is going to win a lot of games as a head coach of Andrew Luck? Every single head coach with the luxury of having Andrew Luck as his quarterback.
Bruce Arians would not be any guarantee to make Cutler and this offense better. And his defensive coordinator of choice, Todd Bowles, would be no more successful with this absence of defensive talent.
Less his final decision, Emery’s approach to hiring the head coach has come under scrutiny recently and seems to have been something of a masterclass in weirdness. Think that’s too harsh? Let’s look at the two major elements revealed in various reports:
- Arians was asked to do a mock press conference less than a month removed from doing multiple press conferences almost every single week of the 2012 season. I can understand a general manager wanting to evaluate the media savvy of a potential big market head coach but it wouldn’t take longer than nineteen seconds with Arians to understand he’d be just fine.
- Arians is quoted as stating it was “awkward” being told he’d need to keep certain assistant coaches (including Rod Marinelli, who didn’t stay) and said in no uncertain terms it was not going to happen. Why would Emery insist on a head coach keeping a defensive coordinator who had yet to commit to the organization for the following season? Maybe before telling Bruce that Rod would be his defensive coordinator he should have asked Rod? The whole thing is, just, weird.
Also, was Marc Trestman so desperate to be an NFL head coach he would have accepted any terms? Does a man so desperate for his shot have it in his system to take over the leadership of a locker room?
JORDAN MILLS TO LEFT GUARD
Nobody could argue Mills has been productive and the move inside to left guard can not be seen as anything other than a demotion for last season’s sixteen-game starter at right tackle. But Bears fans should be hoping Mills finds a home inside and thrives as one of the anchors of the rushing attack. If Mills plays well the Bears will have the guard position under control (and under cheap control) for the next several years.
The pressure is on Michael Ola, now thrust into the pivotal role of blocking Julius Peppers and company in primetime with his offense under siege from the local media. Ola will be walking across the skyline without a net. Eben Britton will be unable to provide insurance as he is week-to-week, recovering from am appendectomy. The more Ola is mentioned Sunday night, the more lopsided the score is in the Packers favor.
EBEN BRITTON INTO LOCAL HALL OF FAME
Here is a majority of a piece written by Andrew J. Campa for the Burbank Leader:
Eben Britton and Jay Gudzin were inducted into the John Burroughs High Hall of Fame, joining an already illustrious group that includes community icons, Olympians and professional athletes.
The pair was formally recognized in a private ceremony in the school’s gym and then introduced to the home crowd before the start of Friday evening’s Pacific League contest pitting visiting Glendale and Burroughs.
“It’s just such a huge honor to be back here, to walk through the halls of this school, to see people who were teaching here when I was here,” Britton said. “This was just touching and special. The nostalgia and love I have for this place, I feel all that.”
Britton returned to Burroughs as one of its highest-profile athletes, as the 27-year-old is in his sixth year in the NFL and second as an offensive lineman with the Chicago Bears.
The timing of this year’s hall of fame ceremony was more than serendipitous for Burroughs and Britton as presenter Terry Scott made that known.
“You might think this just happened to take place this week, but the plan was to see if we could line this up for Eben’s bye week,” Scott said in reference to the Chicago Bears’ week off.
“While most guys would have their feet up, Eben decided to come back home and be with us.”
Britton was joined by his wife and daughter along with an assembly of extended family members, many whom wore red Britton No. 77 jerseys, his number at Burroughs.
“My experience at Burroughs is so fundamental to who I am,” Britton said. “Everything I learned from coach [Keith] Knoop and coach [Mike] Reily. I know it’s a small compliment, but everything I am as an offensive lineman can be attributed to them.”
Britton surprised the Burroughs locker room and gave a pre-game speech, much to the appreciation of Knoop.
“The fact that he came back, he came into the locker room and talked to the guys before the game, that was really special,” Knoop said. “He really understands where his roots are and where he got his foundation in football. I was really glad to have him here.”
Britton was a three-year varsity starter in football and graduated in 2005 after earning All-Area, All-CIF and All-Foothill League honors as a two-way player. Britton also holds the school discus record of 160 feet, 6 inches.
“While this is a big night for the alumni inducted, it’s also means a lot to the coaches here,” said Burroughs co-athletic director Marty Garrison. “To have Terry Scott here to induct them too, it was a great night.”
Makes it easy to enjoy Britton’s tenure in Chicago.
YOU WANT STATISTICS? HERE THEY ARE!
- Only 7 quarterbacks currently have a better TD-INT ration than Jay Cutler’s +9.
- Only 5 quarterbacks have been sacked more times than Cutler’s 20.
- Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers both average 262 yards per game.
- The Bears don’t have a receiver in the top 17…top 17…in yardage. Packers have two. The Bears have Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on their roster.
- Bears defense is 21st in yards per game and 29th in points per game. (But the defense has actually be saddled with short yards field too often.)
- Bears offense is 13th in yards per game and 19th in points per game. (But the Bears have struggled to score when they are NOT on short fields.)
SCOTT WRIGHT PODCAST ADDENDUM
After recording this incredibly informative draft podcast with Scott Wright I spent some time watching YouTube videos of those mentioned. I must have watched this hit from Landon Collins ten times. Bears fans will be desperate for Collins this spring.