Bernstein: Is Emery Really Doing This?

By Dan Bernstein- Senior Columnist

(CBS) Phil Emery is getting a lot of credit today, for things he may or may not be accomplishing.

He’s still only the nominal General Manager right now, remember, with his power not fully vesting until the conclusion of this season. He’s a college scout brought in to be in charge of the draft, and he has not yet hired anyone to the Pro Personnel Director position, the one traditionally most active in his department for the free-agency period.

So, let’s connect the dots, here.

Emery has no real pro-scouting background, making his bones watching kids on college campuses. Lovie Smith and his recently-rearranged staff know they are safe as can be for 2012, and sources from Halas Hall describe Emery as being “a little overwhelmed” early on in his tenure.

Looks like Smith is also the de facto pro personnel guy, doesn’t it?

Great job dealing merely a pair of third-rounders for Brandon Marshall, the best wide receiver in franchise history (characteristic, troubling news from New York notwithstanding). Nice work grabbing an experienced, veteran backup quarterback. More praise to come, we hope.

But I’m pretty sure the honors are being largely misplaced, and that could mean that the very short term is the only concern. Emery was hired to have a vision for the Bears’ future – the big picture – but has little power to act on it, yet. Smith may not end up being a part of it at all, and yet he’s the strongest voice during a critical period for the franchise.

I like what’s happening so far, but we have no idea if Emery is passing on players he sees as being better fits after next year, for whatever different offensive or defensive system he may want to employ under coaches he wants to hire. If he really has a plan, and really will have power, he could be in a tricky spot right now.

If I go grocery shopping with my kids and tell them we have $100 to spend, I know what will end up in the cart before we trundle over to the checkout line: chocolate pudding, nacho cheese Doritos, Reese’s Puffs cereal, Kraft Easy Mac, frozen White Castle cheeseburgers, and a whole octopus (not kidding — don’t ask). It’s my job to ensure that the wheat bread, broccoli and baby carrots are part of the kitchen’s organizational vision, as it were.

It’s possible, too, that success next year means contract extensions for the current regime. Emery may have strong thoughts now, coming off a year without playoffs, but he may change his mind if the Bears make a real run. He also may then lack the guts or the backing from above to make changes he once believed were necessary.

This is a strange transitional place for the Bears, with their aging defense, grumpy star running back and a newly-energized passing game still having to trust a less-than-stout offensive line. Not to mention a new coordinator cleaning up toxic Mike Martz waste, and a GM who was interviewed for the position by the coach and the PR man.

It’s impossible to tell who is working by what means to what ends. However it’s happening, though, it looks good enough for the moment.

So nice going, Phil. I think.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: Is Emery Really Doing This?

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995, and has been the co-host of Boers and Bernstein since 1999. Read more of Bernstein’s columns, or follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.

The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM (or you can listen online).
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts »

More from Dan Bernstein
  • Tom

    Yeah. Sure. Great trade for Brandon Marshall. The Bears traded for him even after knowing that he had alledgedly punched out some lady in NY last week. He’s been arrested a few times, stabbed by his wife blah blah blah. Oh well. It was about time we got a replacement for Tank Johnson.

  • JB

    The Marshall trade is low risk high reward. Much of his original contract was front loaded. So, it does not cost too much to release him.

  • Cameltoe Rancher

    Bears need Mario Williem!!!

  • Cameltoe Rancher


  • Pete E

    I think it’s worth the risk. Now, perhaps, Hester can stop pretending to be a receiver and just do what he does best, return kicks and punts.

  • Markie Maypo

    Ok, ok….I know he said not to ask but….what about this octopus? It’s really the most interesting part of the article lol

  • Dan Bernstein





  • Kevin Mac

    Dan, I think any attempt to determine the actual process behind the scenes is pure conjecture. We have no real choice but to assume the organization is single minded in its direction, and is acting appropriately. I thought the rush to Boob-ify Phil was hurried and inappropriate (and the easy route) …and I’m hopeful that the Bears are really no more or less disfunctional than most NFL clubs- and are moving in the right direction.

  • Nellie

    The guy is a recruiter. That’s what he does best.

  • nick

    It’s funny how Bernstein was happy about this yesterday, and today he hate it.


  • Larry Horse's Arse

    At least iti isn’t JA doing nothing.

  • MB

    I don’t think he hates it at all, but you can’t just overlook the whole punching some woman in the face thing…. I would have still done it… Number one wide receivers don’t come cheap very often, and I think the baggage can be handled.

  • Moderate Spaulding!

    Me unsure,
    Me don’t know.
    Me think Dan is good/ confused.

  • sig729

    octopuss = by cracky

  • Steve Frederick

    I don’t care I just wanna see someone catch the ball.

  • Tony from Oregon

    Read before you comment. His wife was hit with a bottle in a club war zone. He wasn’t even part of the fight, he/wife were outsiders. In leaving the scene, he was acosted by this ho. His rep hurts him here. And you are a tool.

  • Moderate Spaulding!

    I don’t understand how, overtly, racist comments get posted all the time.

    And, I get moderated almost constantly. (And, I’m not referring to anyone in this section)

  • Dave Norberte

    I think Lovie Smith is the defacto cream of the class, if you will.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live