Personal feelings and relationships can be a major obstacle when trying to run a business, a country, or a football team. If you evaluate your situation and see weakness it must be eliminated, however when personal feelings come into play, it can be hard to snuff out those weaknesses.
If Phil Emery wants to be at all successful in his first GM gig he must identify the weaknesses in the organization and eliminate them. I'm going to try and identify some of the major weaknesses hampering the Bears, and give some alternative choices that Phil Emery can make to turn those weaknesses into strengths.
The first weakness that comes to mind would be inconsistent offensive line play. For the last 5 years the Bears have suffered from having one of the worst offensive lines in the league. This inhibits the ability for the quarterback to make much of an impact, as well as inhibiting the runningbacks from doing their job. When a team has a weak offensive line, they will rely on tighter formations, causing the tight ends to become full time blockers, and keeping the running backs in to block in stead of running a route. You can see how this can cause a problem. Removing targets for the quarterback, removes potential outlets for him to throw to when his first few options aren't open. Essentially the Bears have been using two man routes, keeping everyone else in to block. In order for Emery to fix this problem he needs to identify which linemen are the problem, and eliminate the weakness.
If he feels that J'Marcus Webb has run his course in Chicago and that it's time to move on, he could look to free agency by signing Branden Albert. Albert missed three games last season with a back injury, however he's an up and coming player who has pro-bowl talent. Emery could also look to a deep draft. This draft has starting caliber tackles that could be had in any of the first 3 rounds. He could also feel that Webb isn't the weak link and look to improve the interior offensive line. In this case he could look to re-sign Lance Louis in hopes that he improves again after he is healthy, or he could sign a player like Andy Levitre, who is known as a solid pass blocker. In all we know that Phil Emery must improve this offensive line in order for his team to have any success.
The next weakness that I can identify is the middle linebacker position. Brian Urlacher has been a great player for the Bears, however he was a liability in the run game this year, grading out as a bottom of the pack run defender. This can't continue. In order for the defense to have success the middle linebacker position must be able to fill his gap and stop the runner. In the style of defense the Bears run, the defensive linemen are small, lean, pass rushers who don't usually excel in run defense, therefor the linebackers must be able to fill the gaps and stop the run. This is a major weakness that must be stamped out. In order to fix this weakness Emery must evaluate the free agents available, guys like Brad Jones, Phillip Wheeler, and Barrett Ruud are all available. As for the draft just about any top rated middle backer should be available at #20. Manti Te'o is known for being a strong run defender, as is Kevin Minter. Alec Ogletree is more known for his sideline to sideline ability, rather than his run stuffing. The thought of Brian Urlacher not being in a Bears' uniform is scary, and kind of sad, however he was a weakness last year, and in order to get better you must eliminate your weaknesses.
Continuing on with the linebacker weakness, the Bears have little to no good depth at linebacker. Geno Hayes could be a good back up, however he looked underwhelming in most of his playing time this year, other than him they have Blake Castonza and JT Thomas, both of which are more special teamers than actual linebackers. In order to solve this problem Phil Emery will probably look towards free agency. Back ups like Tim Dobbins, Rocky McIntosh, and Akeem Jordan could all be had for cheap. Also, re-signing Nick Roach would be a good idea to help to keep the strengths that they do have already. The Bears MUST find suitable backups who can actually fill in when injuries happen.
The final weakness that Phil Emery must identify and fix is inconsistant quarterback play. Some may say that fixing the offensive line will fix this problem, which very well could be true. It can also be argued that having an actual offensive coach, with an actual playbook could help to improve the quarterback play, but whatever the case may be it has to improve. Jay Cutler has been anything but consistent in his stint with the Bears. He has never had a QB rating of over 86 while playing for the Bears, which is average, but not where it should be. He finally had a target to throw to last year, but his play was still less than desirable. In order to solve this problem and fix this weakness Phil Emery must first identify if it is an outside problem causing the QB play to be less than stellar, or is it a problem with the QB himself. If he believes it is the first thing, then he must do more to put more talent around Jay Cutler. Maybe drafting Tavon Austin, or Deandre Hopkins. Or maybe he could go into free agency for Mike Wallace, Wes Welker, or Brandon Gibson. If Phil decides that it is the second of the choices and that it is a problem with Jay Cutler himself, then he needs to make a move to plan the future of the quarterback position. Whether that is drafting a QB this year, or picking up a young free agent like Matt Flynn, he needs to decide the future of the signal caller in Chicago. Whichever Phil Emery decides is the problem he has to fix the inconsistent play at quarterback.
In conclusion, Phil Emery must take control of his football team by identifying the weaknesses and fixing them, using whatever miens necessary. The weaknesses he must look at are offensive line play, the run stopping of the middle linebacker, the backups behind the linebacking starters, and the inconsistant play of the quarterback. If Phil Emery does these things, then he will have a successful run in Chicago.