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Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by ZifanQ, Oct 23, 2013.
Very well written.
The thing that jumps out at me is that all of these points have been made on this board, but they are consolidated into one article and written well.
Hey, maybe we do know what we are talking about after all! :)
That article nailed it. This in particular is a damning statement of the Jerry Angelo era:
I realized the "home grown" talent during the Angelo era was disappointing. But I didn't realize just how badly the team talent was, until this year. Emery had a pile of crap dumped into his lap. Like others, I give him a pass on the first draft due to the fact it was just after we hired him, and he didn't have time to get his upgrades in place for the scouting department. This past year we saw what he could do, once that upgrade was in place. It was very impressive. I will always wonder if the Shea pick was pushed by Lovie, and Emery wanted to give Lovie every opportunity to prove that he could be a solid coach.
I agree with the writer. It's a major upgrade project for Emery. And as much as I would love to draft a young QB, how do you do that in light of a defense in ruin?
Sad, but true.
I'm with you on this, 99. I just don't see us grabbing a future QB with all the needs we have on D. I was hoping the demise of the D would have waited another year or two, but a couple injuries have really shown how little talent JA left us with.
As far as Shea, my thinking is Emery gave Lovie every thing he wanted, so Lovie could sink or swim. He sank. Although again, injuries. But JA really handcuffed this team. Not only did Emery walk in to a lack of talent, and the wrong draft board, but he was left with little cap space and way too few draft picks. We were short on picks this year, and will be next year as well. I think it's 2015 before we're done with JA's ineptitude in the draft.
It truly is amazing that if you look at our rosterThere really is not a lot left of JAs tenure here.
So the picks that are starters and worth a spot on the team:
Wootton, Forte, Paea, Tillman, and Briggs
The picks that have contributed in a good way:
Earl Bennett, Devin Hester
The picks that are on the team, but I think they could be replaced if they were not here:
Wright, Steltz, Bowman, and Conte.
I'm not sure how many drafts JA was in charge for, but this is pretty damn pathetic.
only thing with which I disagree is his effusive praise for the offense. Is the offense improved? Yes. Is the OL vastly improved? Yes. Is our offense officially "formidable" YET? No, not even close. We have all seen the same woefully inconsistent offense which struggles to string together 4 (or hell, even 3) consecutive quarters of efficient play. Thus far this season, the BEST our offense has looked was in that 2nd half against the Redskins, but then again: a-it DOES seem to wake up after halftime and b-the Redskins' defense is GOD AWFUL. Regardless, the primary thrust of the article is spot on. Emery must now focus on rebuilding the defense, while we all hope that the offense continues to improve (to the point where one day it might actually be considered "formidable") under Trestman.
I really wish we could pump some truth serum into Emery and learn, ONCE AND FOR ALL, just how responsible he was for the McClellin pic, lol. I REALLY want to believe that he was "hoodwinked" into taking him; I really do.
I really don't blame Emery that much for the McClellin pick either way. Whether it was or wasn't influence from Lovie, Emery joined the team late enough in the off season that his hands were full of all kinds of leftovers from the Angelo/Lovie regime and there really was not sufficient time for him to do a full evaluation of team needs and draft analysis. I don't care who your talking about or which team is involved, when someone comes to the party late, you really can't hold their feet to the fire for that first draft, there are just too many other dynamics at play. Now, if he had blown this last draft as well (which it really doesn't look like he did), then we could hold him accountable, but from what I've seen, his 2013 draft made me feel a helluva lot better about his wisdom. That is not something I could have said right after the draft...I was pissed, but the crow tasted pretty good.
This was a great article and neatly wraps up the realistic situation. I do give credit to Emery for putting together a respectable NFL offense and now we will see if he can do it on the other side of the ball (a major rebuild on the fly). I can't give him a pass on the Shea pick though. I'm sure Lovie had a negative influence there and I know Emery was new on the job and without his scouting department in place yet, but ultimately he is responsible for the draft choices. And his first draft was an epic fail outside of Alshon. Frey may become a decent late round utility player but Shea, Hardin, and ERod were all terrible busts.
Emery is going to need to have another offseason like the one he just had prior to this season--mainly on the defensive side of the ball. I'm talking roster management, FA choices (both outside and inside), and a very solid draft. The "silver lining good news" in this dumpster fire is that players like Cutler, Melton, Wooton, and Tillman/Jennings (I assume we will retain one of them and let the other go) should be re-sign-able for far cheaper than it looked like 2 months ago. Other than that the roster needs a major overhaul of personnel.
I would release Peppers for sure. Even after accounting for his dead cap hit, doing so frees up millions more in space and there's no way you can pay a guy $15 million who is no longer an impact player.
I'd keep one starting cornerback, whoever is more economical (that may be Jennings if Tillman can't stay healthy).
Why are we paying $3 million to a backup RB we hardly ever use? Release or trade Bush and give some much cheaper draftee/udfa/Ford a shot there.
Earl Bennett, Hester, Costanzo, Weems...let all four go.
Between DJW and Anderson, I'd keep one on a cheap deal (probably Anderson).
Major Wright is not worth re-signing unless dirt cheap. Conte has another year on his rookie deal left so I'd keep him but bring in competition for FS in training camp.
Shea needs to be moved to SLB. He can backup there and play ST while he learns it. If that experiment flops in the offseason, then cut him. I doubt he has much trade value with a 1st round contract and the "bust label" hung on him. Maybe just maybe you could squeeze a late round pick out of someone like with Carimi.
So between FA and the draft, Emery needs to find 2 DLs, a CB, a S, a 2nd string TE who can catch, and depth players at LB all before we start talking about "future development" stuff.
well said,MPbears. Well said.
"According to Football Outsiders, no linebacker was involved in a higher percentage of his team’s plays through five weeks, and his 18 defeats were most in the league. Through Sunday, he’d probably been the Bears’ best player.
But Chicago’s problems began long before Briggs went down, and although he and Tillman are the bigger names, it’s the issues along the defensive line that have exposed the ills of the entire defense.
The injuries to Melton and Collins set off a chain reaction. With both of them gone, the Bears were forced to move starting defensive end Corey Wootton inside to pair with defensive tackle Stephen Paea (who also missed a game earlier this year). Moving Wootton meant that Shea McClellin, the defensive end Chicago took in the first round last year, became an every-down player. The Bears knew when they drafted McClellin that he might struggle holding up against the run, and that’s proven true. Losing both defensive tackles meant a downgrade at two different positions in the run game, and the result was what we saw on Sunday. To make a stop, the Bears’ second-level players have to completely sell out, leaving them exposed to the boots, keeps, and play-action passes that are all favorites for Washington."
Again, blame whoever you want, but the reality is that the cover 2 requires front 4 pressure, and they have no one that can do that b/c of age, inj's, and a busted draft pick. This is the primary reason I have to give Tucker a "incomplete" for the year.
I said last year, and most didn't want to believe it, but Conte/Wright are not good DB's, and needed replaced, well here it is, ask them to cover and make the right play, not just be opertunistic on a broken one, and they are getting shredded.
Izzy cannot even get a start, and barely on the field, he wasn't the answer to save this year, BU isn't going to correct poor safetyplay while he is busy getting trucked himself. The D was to old and thin, and Emery did the right thing to let it go and try a soft reboot while he fixed the O, it didn't work, but it was the right choise, like holding at 20 in blackjack and getting beat w/a 21, the correct move can still get you beat.
Now he needs to do a full on reboot, but it doesn't mean you ignore the O for 1 to 2 years while you fix it; that's what lead to this problem to begin with. It's not like the O is stocked w/depth also, if it was you'd see more on the field. The rebuild has gone well so far, and w/any hope we can have a playoff Bears team next year b/c of a remodled D, one that is not necessarily cover 2 b/c that's what the players want, but a D that is modled around what the HC and DC want, and let the players adjust accordingly.
The offense needs a 2nd receiving option at TE, that much is obvious. Bush should be traded/released since we pay him far too much for how little he's used. So we need another RB (late round/udfa) too even assuming Ford sticks next year, which I hope he will. I would also throw in that's its always a good idea to draft one OL per year to keep fresh. So, look for a late round G/C type if Boggs isn't Garza's successor or a T if he is. The above stuff isn't "expensive" either draft-wise or FA-cost-wise. That leaves a young developmental QB prospect. Could be Blanchard or a latter round draftee. We don't need, nor can we afford, to blow a high pick on a QB. In fact, I don't want to see Emery draft ANY offensive player in the first 3 rounds unless he's truly a "can't pass up" type of situation. And that includes if we end up with 4 picks in the first 3 rounds via a trade-down as I hope we can.
Secondly, I'm not sure I buy the "Tucker gets a pass because he is forced to run the prior regimes system" excuse. Seems to me that Trestman is implementing his offensive scheme (the 4th in 4 years) without the players pre-approval so Tucker ought to be able to make the adjustments he needs to when its obvious that Lovie's system can't succeed anymore. He hasn't. At least he's been SLOOOOOOWWW in recognizing obvious weaknesses and compensating appropriately. Yes, the D is rapidly aging. Yes, there have been injuries (though the D sucked from the very get-go this year). Yes, Shea is a bust and Pep fell off a cliff faster than expected. But, Tucker still shares a lot of blame for the collapse of this unit. I hope the defensive "reboot" includes a DC change this offseason.
1) RB, TE, OL late, sure. But backup/potential starting qb shouldn't be a late pick, no earlier then round 4...escpecially w/the depth and talent of this years class, you don't want to miss out on one of them, get the one you like and deal with it.
A lot of that will change depending on what they do in FA, and who is kept, sent packing, I'll reserve the right to change my mind later.
2) I agree he shouldn't HAVE been forced to use Lovie's D, but the players wanted it and he and Trestman acuiessed, to late to do a change now.
2a) there is no scheme he's going to run that is good for the players he has. His Safeties aren't any good, and his best CB is hurt, he has 1 reliable DB on the roster and he has no DL that can get pressure. What System can his install that doesn't rely on DB coverage AND front four pressure? If you can answer that, I'll say it's on the coaches. But at the end of the day, a scheme needs players that can play, and Tucker doesn't have them. This is not a team that is just missing BU, IZZY and Hot Rod from last years team. Peppers is too old, Tillman is too hurt, Melton/Collins are on IR, Shea is actually worse then last year. That's a huge turnover. Now you are missing your strating MLB and WLB. What the hell is Lovie, Rod or BU going to do about that and make it better?
2b) don't bank on a dc change 1 year into his tenure when he wasnt able to install his scheme and his best players were all hurt.
I'd be happy with a Foles/Cousins/Glennon type QB pick (I think they were all 3rd-4th rounders). But please don't pass on a much needed D player in 1 and 2 just "because Trestman wants another QB toy". Like it or not, Cutler is going to be our starter for the foreseeable future. He's still a work in progress in Trestmans scheme I admit (he deviates and freelances a bit too much still I agree) but he's shown definite signs of improvement and was on pace for over 4000 yards + some nice scrambles. His injury sucks in the near term but it probably just made him a whole heckuva lot cheaper to re-sign down the road. If the D weren't such a pile of steaming hot garbage right now, it would be a different story on drafting a QB/Jay-successor. The D is going to need the lions share of resources this spring, both draft and FA.
Maybe I am a little too hard on Tucker and yes his personnel have let him down, no doubt. But I just can't yet get over the fact that the D sucked right out of the gate...even before Melton, Collins, Paea, Williams, Briggs, etc got hurt. Melton and Wooton don't have the age excuse Pep does yet neither one of them did bupkis the first three games. We got scorched by Minnesota (Ponder!) and Pittsburgh, two of the NFLs worst O units.
I don't think they should take one in the first, unless Cutler is coming back. In that I agree, probably shouldn't in the 2nd either.
Ya but right out of the Gate, Williams and Peppers hadn't play in the preseason. I'm not saying non of this falls at the feet of Tucker, I'm not just saying it's an incomplete b/c I don't know how you judge it; and it's not even his system. Again go back to how bad the Lovie/Babich D's where after Harris and before Peppers. The lack of front 4 pressure just destroys the cover 2. And w/no pressure and playing the cover 2, what should we expect?
You know I had a lot to more say about this but then I remembered that I said most of it before so here's the short version.
When you have a defense that's been consistently top ten for a decade and in one year you take away it's architect, it's pass rushmeister DC, and it's key emotional leader, captain, QB, defensive play caller, and HOF MLB, don't adequately replace any of them and bring in a guy whose never run a Cover 2 scheme, whose teams have played some of the worst defense in the NFL, had some of the worst records for sacks and pressures, and ended up losing enough games to virtually empty their stadium as your DC this is just about what you can expect. This isn't just about injuries. This is also about extremely lousy defensive coaching.
I know, I got suckered in to begin with too. Tucker had bad luck with injuries in Jax. He's still got 'em too and he's still not any good at dealing with it. He's a f'ing Jonah. Tucker talks a good game but he can't walk the walk. How can you go with a "next man up" philosophy when your DC can't even teach his scheme to the veterans well enough to avoid embarrassment let alone coach up the inexperienced and the castoffs. This is about scheme, execution of fundamentals, misplaying personnel, and not putting your defense in position to win. Mel Tucker is the wrong guy to be running this defense and he was from the very start. We were sold on him by Phil Emery and this is the last strike against him and his handling of the defense this year.
Couldn't retain Marinelli = Strike One, Botched the Urlacher negotiation and didn't re-sign him (as if he really wanted to anyway) = Strike Two, Made an unqualified hire of Tucker as DC = Strike Three.
All summer long the media stayed focused on the offense "buying in" to what Trestman wanted to do. And when Cutler mentioned that most were but not all the media immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was him or another key player like Marshall or Forte who weren't convinced. We were all looking in the wrong direction. It wasn't the offense that wasn't sold and it never was. It was certain defensive players Cutler was referring to. These guys are not playing for Tucker and I figured this might happen when the deal with Urlacher fell apart. Dimishing skills or not he was still 80% as good a player as he ever was. For a HOF MLB that's pretty damn good and he was still 100% a leader and a guy who could run that defense on the field. Briggs is a great OLB but he has no idea how to manage that defense because he never had to. Urlacher was always there to do it. All you need to do is listen to his interviews to pick up on it. It's all just glib talk about getting better yet he hasn't a clue of what to do and neither does Tucker. He's lost and so is his defense and it's gonna get even uglier when we play better teams.
There was an indication of this more than a week ago when some brave soul in the media asked Pep about his lack of production. Pep got a little huffy and said something like the season isn't over yet and he could have left it at that but he didn't. He could have said his foot problems were acting up but he didn't. He said he was 100% healthy. But what he did say was telling. He laid blame on the schemes they were being asked to play which to me is a direct swipe at Tucker because I can't imagine him ever saying that about Lovie or Marinelli. So if the rush schemes Tucker is using are impacting one of the most dominant DEs to play the game what's happening elsewhere and if Tucker is running the same schemes as before why would Pep comment on it? Because Tucker isn't and it's because he doesn't know that defense well enough to coach it and that brings me back to it was a bad hire to begin with.
Basically what we have is the Mike Tice of DCs right now and nothing will get better anymore this year unless you're talking about more victims for the Bears medical staff. So Phil you fixed the offense but managed to torpedo one of the best defenses in the NFL all in one year. Take a bow man. That couldn't have been easy to do. :mad:
So if you guys think I'm still a lot PO'd at Phil Emery you'd be correct. He's not getting my vote for NFL Executive of the Year.
I agree that Tucker hasn't made the best firsthand impression and I'm dissapointed with him just like I was with Tice, but there's only so much you can fix doing an off-season.
How much have he improved over offense doing last off-season? We went from the lowest to more than medicore now. ONE OFF SEASON.
Yes it could just be "luck" to get the right picks that even Jerry Angelo managed to land every now and then but I choose to dismiss that thought... Wait and see how he handles the defense in this offseason, and then you can call Emery out. So far Emery has done than Angelo did in all his years.
Just out of curiousity what should Emery have done in order to be the NFL executive of the year? Have all 7 picks starters, signed Urlacher? I'm amazed to what Emery has done to this team in one year, I never thought we'd be able to land a solid TE, a pro bowler LT, two rookies good enough to start the rightside of the oline and bring in a decent LG. Not to mention he brought in Anderson and Williams who I think have played better than Urlacher/Roach...Tbh you cannot ask for more of a 2th year GM..
I think we can get away with not doing anything on offense and just working on the defense in the off season via free agency and draft.
We have some serious free agents this year also on defense.
So he has some work to do but he'll also have some money to spend.
My thing with Emery is he seems to me like he likes to be the smart guy because every draft he drafts guys that nobody had going that high in the draft ala McLellin and Long.
Ya but there 's like 23 more that are also on the last contract list. Only 30 players have contracts next year, and Peppers, who is likely cut, is one of them.
The team is still going thorugh a vast overhaul, even if they won't admit it....the D is just the primary part of that.
Funny, IIRC Tice's last gig before coming to Chicago was in Jacksonville too.