With two games remaining in the season, the Chicago Bears are in a dogfight with the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions for the NFC North title. Regardless of what happens this season, the Bears are on the right track to long-term success, and the reason for this is Phil Emery.
In his two seasons as General Manager, Emery has shown an analytical mind, a tremendous attention to detail, and a tireless work ethic. After firing Lovie Smith after a 10-6 season, Emery held a 50-minute press conference to explain his reasoning and show what his vision for the future of the team.
Emery has certainly gone outside the box with his decisions so far. He went to Canada to hire Marc Trestman, and even though he received some criticism for that, Trestman has transformed the Bears offense. After nine years under Lovie Smith, the Bears offense’s highest ranking was fifteen. In Trestman’s first season, the Bears rank second in points scored and seventh in yards.
One of the keys to that offense has been Alshon Jeffery. Emery received some gruff from fans for that pick. The critics’ reasoning was that the Bears desperately needed help on the offensive line, and that was a higher priority. What is the point of having a good receiver if the quarterback cannot get the throw to him?
The Bears have been able to get the ball to Jeffery and as a result we have all seen the blossoming of a future All-Pro receiver who makes some sick, unimaginable catches.
Speaking of the offensive line, Emery completely changed it. Gone from last year was everyone except for Roberto Garza. There are even two ROOKIES starting on the right side, and the results are astonishing. After languishing in the bottom three in sacks allowed, this season the Bears rank third.
This is not to say that Emery’s job is done. There is still the defense. It is aging and has suffered through a lot of injuries. Replacing the starters with rookies, you can see the growing pains being experienced right now. Also, there is the question of whether or not Jay Cutler is the franchise quarterback (Emery has already said he was).
Considering how quickly Emery has transformed the offense, there is no reason to doubt he could do the rest and bring a Super Bowl to Chicago in the near future.
What do you think? Do you feel Emery has the Bears on the right track?