The way I see it, Phil Emery has two options in the month of December:
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.
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.
As has been stated here previously, this is not a Bears team ready to rebuild. Cutler, Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett, Forte, Long, Bushrod, Slauson are the offensive corps in 2015. The defensive line and starting corners will more than likely be the same as well. Do the Bears need more secondary and linebacking and pass rush help? Of course. They need tons. But the way the current roster is constructed contractually there will not be a serious opportunity for roster turnaround until after next season (at the earliest) and more likely after the 2016 campaign.
Emery deserves one more off-season of talent acquisition to complete the picture he began painting in 2012.
- 2012: Emery begins his work by adding Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. With one stroke of the brush the new Bears GM ended more than a decade of fan frustration with the Bears options at wide receiver. Emery ends the calendar year by relieving Lovie Smith of his head coaching duties.
- 2013: Emery rebuilds the offensive line, the team’s biggest disaster, and adds a top NFL tight end in Martellus Bennett.
- 2014: Emery took the worst run defense in the history of the organization and turned it around by rebuilding the defensive line. No, the Bears did not get the production they needed out of high-priced DEs but the team went from 32nd in 2013 to 12th in 2014 against the run & 31st to 8th in sacks. Where they have lacked is in scheme and coverage ability.
- 2015: Emery’s attention must turn to coverage. He needs to add at safety, corner and linebacker. If he does that and makes a change at defensive coordinator there is every reason to believe this unit can make vast improvements.
But who will lead them? Emery can’t improve the roster in the next month. But his actions over that period may very well determine the short and long-term future of the Bears organization.