The Bernstein Brief: Phil Emery’s Legacy Still Haunts Bears

By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist

(CBS) Marc Trestman earned the nickname “Dr. Death” from a certain local radio personality due to his role in killing off Bears football, but we can also keep blaming the individual who hired him.

General manager Phil Emery fired Lovie Smith to hire the disaster that was Trestman and also drafted so poorly that only five of his 20 draft picks in three seasons are left on the roster. With the release of defensive tackle Will Sutton on Thursday, that leaves just Kyle Long, Kyle Fuller, Ka’Deem Carey, Pat O’Donnell and Charles Leno as current Bears, a number certain to decrease further before next season begins.

And that’s before we get into Emery’s decision to invest in Jay Cutler for seven years instead of using the franchise tag, signing Jared Allen and trading for the talented-but-divisive Brandon Marshall.

Long is a clear hit on Emery’s ledger, and he’s left to be the only positive standard-bearer for his draft legacy. Missing in the first round on both Fuller and Shea McClellin set the Bears back years, to the point where current general manager Ryan Pace is still digging out of the hole his predecessor left for him.

As rookie minicamp convenes this week, we can see another crop of drafted talent and continue to hope that the guy in charge of it knows what he’s doing in a way the last guy clearly didn’t.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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