Since taking over as the Chicago Bears general manager, Phil Emery has made his presence quietly known. First, with the trading of two third-round draft picks for perennial pro-bowler Brandon Marshall,(effectively fixing notorious issues at receiver), and later with the signing of bruising running back Michael Bush. And then with other key additions, such as the signing of return specialist Eric Weems, receiver Devin Thomas and backup quarterback Jason Campbell, who effectively gives us the best depth at the quarterback position in the NFL.
Yesterday, Emery had a conference call with all season ticket holders and Jeff Joniak to discuss the upcoming 2012 season and also to answer any questions that they had for him. No official release of the conversation has surfaced, but a detailed twitter feed from the creator of the 4th Phase blog, who is also a season ticket holder details the answers Emery gave to some important questions. I will sum up the questions and answers below.
-When asked about the contract status of Matt Forte, Emery states that they are working to get a contract done. Moving in a positive direction.
-Asked about the progress of Johnny Knox, Emery stated that he is making progress and will let him decide when he is ready to come back.
-Commenting on the offensive line, he stated that Gabe Carimi is also working hard to get back, and he is what they are looking for on the offensive line.
-Asked about Okoye, Emery said he's (Okoye) is deciding where to go. Does not believe Okoye will be returning to the Bears.
-Emery said the immediate goal for the team is to win the Superbowl.
-When asked about drafting a defensive end, Emery was candid and said that they are always looking to improve the squad. Always looking for play-makers.
-Asked about the most recent Brandon Marshall incident and a possible suspension, Emery replied that it was something that would have to work itself out. Is not going to get ahead of the process.
-When asked multiple times about what positions he will be targeting in the draft, Emery repeatedly responded with an answer not revealing anything. Later he said that the more information you give, you give the advantage to your competitors.
-Emery told ticket holders that he heavily involves coaches both in free agency and the draft. Stated that they discussed 400 available players, 200 available in the draft.
From what Emery said, it appears due to the signings in free agency and the loss of Okoye, that the Bears will look to have a very defensive-heavy draft. He seems pretty content with our offensive line, and doesn't seem too worried about the Brandon Marshall incident which is a relief.
The part I enjoyed reading the most was that his immediate goal is to win the Superbowl; not in the future, but now. Also, his stating that the Forte negotiations are moving in a positive direction is refreshing, since that is the first we have heard of it since the twitter rants by Matt Forte following the Michael Bush signing.
Emery's obvious determination to build a championship team, paired with his history as a scouting director, has me excited about the upcoming draft. Hopefully this is the year that nightmares of ten years of first round picks come to an end.