Don’t look now, but Phil Emery is re-shaping the Chicago Bears before our very eyes. Besides the many on-field improvements, Emery is revamping the scouting department. Top of the list are the promotions of two long time area scouts, Chris Ballard to director of pro scouting while Marty Barrett has been upped to director of college scouting while expanding the scouting department.
Ballard has spent 11 seasons as the Southwest scout for the Bears while Barrett has been scouting for 17 years with the Saints and Bears while focused on the West region. While Ballard doesn’t have pro scouting experience, it wasn’t a concern for Emery.
“The focus during the selection process for the directors’ position was not whether the scout came from a pro or college background; rather it was their level of skill as communicators and evaluators,” Emery said. “We were also looking for people with a successful background in coaching, organizational and administrative experience.
“Chris and Marty’s abilities in these important areas really stand out. Their high level of skill in these areas is why we placed them in these leadership roles.”
Emery also added staff, increasing the personnel department to 18 from a 2011 group that went 12 deep. Having more eyes on players will help in player evaluations. I know, it seems like such a novel concept.
“In the past with six area scouts often you would go into meetings with only one evaluation on a player,” Emery said. “Now with our increased staff and their roles, we’ll have three and possibly even four evaluations of a player. That will give us a better feel for the players and put us in a better position.
“Having four in-house Scouting Assistants will also allow us to do a deeper dig on background for character and medical incidents and will allow us to be more accurate and complete with our information.”
This kind of improvement is loooong overdue. Sure, the McCaskeys drop a few more bucks into scouting department, but the combined salaries of these scouts will pale in comparison to just 1 bad free agent signing or another bust-out draft pick.
I’m impressed that Emery was able to share this vision with the Misers of the Midway and I expect we’ll all see the benefits of this expansion as early as the 2013 draft. To see all the other moves, hirings and promotions, check out the Bears official website for the story here.
Congrats to all!