Lessons Learned from Chicago Bears', Phil Emery's 2012 Draft Strategy
New Bears general manager Phil Emery has inherited an unenviable situation. Even though he is digging out from some of former general manager Jerry Angelo's mistakes, he inherits a team that was very close to the Super Bowl just two years ago.
Bears fans will settle for nothing less than a trip to the postseason, even though there are two teams in Chicago's own division that are hard to picture outside of the playoffs. Emery set the tone early in his reign with a somewhat surprising trade for Brandon Marshall.
What did we learn about his philosophy during the draft?
Emery is not afraid of risk
If it wasn't made clear by the trade for the sometimes volatile Marshall, Phil Emery can tolerate a lot of risk. The Bears took Shea McClellin in the first round even though he doesn't have ideal size to play 4-3 end, which caused many analysts to project him going to a team that plays a 3-4 defense in the draft.
In the second round, Emery selected Alshon Jeffery, who has had weight fluctuation issues and mysteriously avoided working out at the combine while healthy. In the third round, the Bears took Brandon Hardin, who didn't even play in 2011.
Every one of the Bears' first three picks have questions to answer at the next level. For a team to have one boom/bust player in their first three picks is normal, even expected. To have all three carrying a higher than typical risk indicates a riverboat gambler mentality.
Emery knows the strengths of his coaching staff
Two picks stand out here. The Bears have Rod Marinelli, one of the very best defensive line coaches in the business. The selection of Shea McClellin shows us that Emery is more than comfortable with the risk of taking an undersized end when he knows he has Marinelli to coach the player up.
The selection of Evan Rodriguez in the fourth round seems tailor-made for new offensive coordinator Mike Tice, a former tight ends coach. Rodriguez gives the Bears a third tight end who can play "move tight end," a piece that gives two-tight end sets a better passing edge.
Emery is not going to be swayed by the public's, or even his players' perception of his team
Even a limited viewing of the Bears' 2011 season immediately exposes the deep flaws in the offensive line. The successful 2010 season also saw Jay Cutler take more sacks than any quarterback in the league.
The issue is certainly on Cutler's mind. He has publicly said that until the offensive line gets straightened out, the offense will be "up in the air."
Emery picked exactly zero offensive linemen, and his biggest free-agent signing was a running back. Perhaps this is just another illustration of the first point: Emery likes to take risks. Going into the 2012 season with virtually the same offensive line—save for the return of 2011 first-round offensive tackle Gabe Carimi—is the largest risk of them all.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?