Jan 17, 2013; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery (right) introduces new head coach Marc Trestman during a press conference at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Philosophy: Winds of Change are Blowing in the Windy City


Whenever an organization changes the top leadership, you can bet said organization will see a shift in philosophy. For the football nerds in the world, philosophy is the “why” you do what you do and is a product of your belief system. These beliefs and philosophies manifest themselves in principles, or statements of will and being and ultimately manifest in a way that shape actions.

To demonstrate what I am talking about, take a look at various actions and statements from the Angelo, Smith era. We saw the “Rex is our quarterback” movement. We saw the ‘You can never have enough Defensive Lineman” philosophy manifest itself in a way that resulted in Defensive Linemen were valued, but not offensive lineman. Angelo often traded down and picked up late round picks, indicating that he preferred quantity over quality.

After fielding a top defense for years, Angelo finally succumbed to the notion that this is a quarterback driven league. His belief in harmony and continuity in the locker room prevented the Bears from playing for Drew Brees in the draft and in free agency. Later, when confronted with the opportunity to acquire Kurt Warner, the Bears would not open up the competition for the QB position and Warner went to the Cardinals. The Bears had their opportunity to snag Aaron Rodgers too as he inexplicably fell from a potential top 5 pick sitting in the red room only to fall to the Packers. I remember yelling at the TV that day “Rex is our Quarterback” and a few other choice expletives that I can not write down here.  That was 2005 and we had Rex Grossman and Thomas Jones…so we selected Cedric Benson, not Aaron Rodgers. The rest is history.

So what will Emery bring that is different? I hear in his words, purpose not ego. I see in his actions a sense of urgency, not a wait and see mentality. He has one draft under his belt and inked the first #1 Wide Receiver the Bears had since…well since forever. Emery terminated a coach who finished 10-6 after squandering a fast start and easy first half schedule. The Emery love-fest will end abruptly if he misfires with Trestman, but my money is on his choice; he did not misfire. He just hit the bullseye.  Of course, only time will tell as it always does.

I see in Trestman a football nerd. Emery is a football nerd. I am a football nerd and I know one when I see one. Emery will have to surround Trestman with talent. Trestman will have to call plays that work. He will also have to sustain the defense at a level that allows the offense to outscore the opponent most of the time and VIOLA, the Bears will return to relevance in the post season festivities.  I will look for a noticeable shift in allocation of resources to include top draft picks, free agents, contract extensions for existing players as well as coaches.  If Lovie made a fatal mistake, it was his inability to create continuity at the offensive coordinator level.  Emery will have no such trouble on offense as his coach will be calling the plays.

I began watching the Bears in earnest in 1975, Walter Payton’s rookie year.  In the years that followed, I had moments of hope for an offense that was not offensive but those moments were fleeting at best.  I truly thought Tice would unlock Cutler’s potential and he failed miserably.  Tice, like Martz before him, thought if he called explosive plays he would get explosive results.  Well I guess there was an explosion of sorts resulting from Tice’s monumental backfire.

I think Emery and Trestman understand that explosive plays are an effect, not a cause.  Like playing Chess…get your opponent reacting to you, play a move further ahead than your opponent, get him off-balance and strike.  Explosive offense comes from calling plays that work, getting the defense off-balance and guessing and then the explosive plays come.  I think Emery gets that…and because he gets it, I believe it to be highly likely that Trestman gets it too.

Is 2013 the year of the Bear?

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Tags: Chicago Bears Marc Trestman Phil Emery

  • John Mack

    2013 may or may not be the beloved’s year. We’ll get a stronger sense of that in training camp and preseason (imo).

    Question for you mouser, how deep do you think the talent is for positions the Bears need this year? O-Line, LBs, and even developmental QBs? Because I agree that Angelo emphasized quantity over quality, but I feel for what the Bears are going for there will be a lot of quality in the 2nd round. I’ve made my case on the Bear Goggles Facebook page and I’ll make it here. I think players like Minter and Zavier Gooden (watching the combine as I write this) will be available for selection after the 1st rd. I’m fully in favor of trading away the first pick for both of a team’s 2nd pics (Miami, Cincinnati) and then packaging Kellen Davis and Devin Hester for a 2nd and 3rd rd pick from NYJ or a team in similar waters looking for offensive players. I’d love to see some moves where we can select 4 or 5 times in the 2nd round. This draft, I’m very comfortable with moving down and picking up more options in a deeper draft at other positions.

    Your thoughts?

    • Celestino Shinn

      I’d love to get rid of K. Davis and maybe Hester too but I dont think any team would give up a 2nd or even 3rd round pick for them.

      • Bob Doll

        Yes, I agree. Hester might…and I mean MIGHT have a low round trade value but Davis is not going to get any attention. I think that if the Bears go with a FA or WR in the draft, it might signal the end for Hester. A roster spot is pretty valuable these days and I am not sure the Bears will keep a 30-something old punt returner on the roster. Having said that, it would not suprise me if the Bears found a way to increase draft picks in some way,whether that is trading down or trading a good vetern under contract.

    • Bob Doll

      I too believe there is plenty of talent in this draft in lower rounds. Seems that every year is deep in some positions, and others not so much…This year, the scouts say OL and I agree. LB looks real good too and I think there will be solid players in rounds 2-4. The trick is always to pick the “right” players which is easier said than done. I feel good about Emery thus far so maybe I have sipped the kool-aid. Angelo just couldn’t do it and I, personally, grew very frustrated over the years with his picks and his trading down. If Emery found a way to pick up an extra 2 or 3, I would be very happy. If he did it repeatedly, I probably wouldn’t be so much…unless of course he showed a knack for picking
      low round nuggets that most miss. Thanks for your comments! Bear Down! BTW, I post as GM Mouser, but with the facebook platform my name, Bob shows up.