- David Haugh at the Chicago Tribune produces this interesting tid bit that could be an indication of what general manager Phil Emery‘s future might hold:
“Quietly, the Bears have begun exploring potential replacements for Emery in the event they make a change in their front office, a league source said. Nothing has been decided, but a source characterized the Bears as open to several approaches to fixing what’s wrong.”
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune argues that franchising quarterback Jay Cutler wasn’t a practical option last offseason:
“Hindsight is a wonderful tool for armchair quarterbacks. It’s always easy to identify a blitz protection gone awry and a secondary receiver that was wide open when looking at the film. Playing armchair GM is even easier. Certainly placing the franchise tag on Cutler and making him play this season before making a multiyear commitment would have put the organization in a different position right now.”
I’ll accept Biggs’s arguments but suggest that they are basically beside the point. Hindsight might be 20-20 on franchising Cutler but regular reservations about him were expressed by fans and media everywhere including this space. Much has been said about Cutler’s ability to read defenses and that may or may not be fair. But there’s no doubt that he’s a “see-it-throw-it” quartback in a league where you have to throw the ball with anticipation to a receiver before he gets open. Cutler has never shown that he can do that and he didn’t show it last year, either. It simply can’t work any other way in the modern NFL.
The problem wasn’t that the Bears didn’t franchise Cutler. The problem was that they misevaluated him. My only real question was how much of that misevaluation falls on Emery and how much on Bears head coach Marc Trestman.
Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times has some nice things to say about defensive coordinator Mel Tucker:
“Say this for Tucker, though: the Bears’ much-needed youth movement on defense has helped replenish a roster beset by age and injury.
“Assuming David Bass starts for the injured Willie Young, Tucker will take the field Sunday in Minnesota with five first- or second-year players in a starting role. At least five more — including rookie defensive tackles Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson — have been steady contributors this season.
“Tucker said ‘every single one of those guys’ has improved this season.”
They have, indeed. And its very noticable, especially at linebacker where they play a little faster with a little more confidence every outing. The Bears are a long way from the defense that gave up back-to-back 50 point disasters mid-season. Tucker and the defensive coachng staff deserve a great deal of credit for that. Its a shame that its too little too late. But at least they’ve help lay a foundation for the future. Here’s hoping some of them survive the coming apocalypse.
One Final Thought
Kyle Long is going to the Pro Bowl again this year and he’s got the right idea. Via Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune:
“Whoever they put out there at quarterback, I know what my job is. So that’s what I’ve got to handle.”
Some veterans like kicker Robbie Gould could take a lesson from him.