I love the moves that Phil Emery has made in his couple of months as the top dog at Halas Hall. They all look great, seem like they have been worthwhile and yes, much better than what we likely would have seen from his predecessor. The fact of the matter is though that championships are not won in March. Or April. Of course we all know that, but it seems like Emery is getting a lot of credit for his savvy moves when we haven't even seen any of them work on the field yet. For all we know, this could turn into the Washington Redskins of the NFC North.That would make Phil Emery the Dan Snyder of the Bears. I don't think that it's likely to happen, but it's something that shouldn't be ruled out. Sure Emery has been smart enough with the moves so that they are not going to blow up in the team's face like Snyder's contracts seem to do more often than not with the 'Skins, but that's not to say the moves Emery has made are not without concerns.
Sure, it's nice that the Bears got Brandon Marshall for two third round picks, great value, and Marshall's existing contract made him a cheaper and even better value than the high-priced free agents the Bears could have chased, like Vincent Jackson or even Pierre Garcon or Reggie Wayne. However, Marshall hasn't lasted more than four seasons with any one team. I can't help but feel like the Bears are renting Marshall for three years to try and win a ring now. The New York thing notwithstanding, because it's a non-thing now, it merely helped the Bears get a better deal, Marshall's past makes him a time bomb for when he wears out his Chicago welcome.
Then there's the Matt Forte situation. Sure it's no different than when Jerry was in town but that's almost a bad thing. It seems to have gotten worse, mostly because Forte is losing more and more fan support and the Bears hold all the leverage, but Emery should have been able to come in with a clean slate and get Forte's camp to come around to his way but instead he seems to have further ostracized his starting back. This one is not entirely on Phil, though.
Michael Bush, on the other hand, is. Sure it looks like a great signing, but you know what? So did Marion Barber and Chester Taylor. "NO!!" You say. "No, Bush has less mileage and is younger." So what? We said that about Barber. We talked ourselves into Taylor with "Well sure he's 30, but he's a career back-up with low mileage." The fact is, is he's never had to be the guy. He's been asked to fill in and to spell the lead the guy but never has had to be THE one. If Forte holds out, he might have to be the guy and that's a big unknown. Look at what Barber did when he became the starter.
Last summer in the shortened free agency frenzy, Angelo signed a lot of guys to one (or two)-year, low-risk-potential-high-reward deals; Roy Williams, Amobi Okoye, Corey Graham and Barber. Williams didn't work, Barber didn't work. Okoye worked but the Bears couldn't even get him to stick and Graham played himself into a better deal elsewhere. Are the Emery praisers ready to sit back and say "Well Bush, Costanzo and Kelvin Hayden will all work out better, I guarantee it."
They can't guarantee it because they don't know.
Lastly, Emery was brought in for his draft prowess. Everyone is clueless as to what he will do. Even if every pundit, WCG writer and meatball applaud what he does come April 30, it won't make too much difference. None of us will know about this draft class, for certain, until 2014 or '15.
I love what Emery is doing, but the honeymoon is bound to end at some point. I just don't want it to come crashing down to JA levels because everybody thinks in two months he's bought the team a ticket to a Super Bowl.
It's not that easy. It's not that clear. But for the record, he is better than both Snyder and Angelo.