Phil Emery from the Inside Out


 Chicago Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs (55) and cornerback Charles Tillman (33) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs (55) and cornerback Charles Tillman (33) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

We are about a month away from the NFL draft, and we will hear more and more chatter about the Bears 14th pick. Some like myself can envision the Bears trading down with the likes of the Jets and 49′er’s. Others will argue that the Bears still must draft a defensive lineman, and for the first time the Mock Experts are now moving all over the board who the Bears will draft.

In truth none of us are right.  For we have learned already Emery drafts to a different tune.  He has shown us this off season how stealthy he will move to upgrade the team. None of us saw the Jared Allen signing nor Brian de la Puente  coming on board.  This leads us to scratch our heads and sometimes wonder what is he doing.

If we take a moment and step back and remove our own rose colored glasses, you will see Emery is not really going out on a limb, but is building a team in the classical manner. Jim Finks believed you built a defense from the inside out. Jon Gruden, believes the key to a great defense starts with the DE and then CB. If we look at what Emery has done so far, he has followed both of them.

So far he has signed six defensive ends, re-signed two defensive tackles.  Two of the defensive ends, Idonije and Houston can play defensive tackle. So in effect,  he has calmly and adroitly  been following the Finks/Gruden blueprint.  Does it mean a defensive tackle won’t be drafted? No, but not at 14.  The defensive tackle group is deep with a lot of quality players.  The Bears can wait till the second or third round to draft one and still get a top player to fill out a perceived hole

So if you follow the Finks/Gruden road map where does it lead us?  Well, Emery has already tipped his hand to a degree.  When they signed Lamarr Houston, Emery was asked about the draft. He said, watch our next signings and then you will get an idea where we are going.  Following those words and the philosophy of Finks and Gruden it takes you to cornerback.

Currently the three starting corners for the Bears (including the nickel) are over 30. The only experienced backup is Isaiah Frey, who is entering his second season.  After that there are three players that have no experience and two have been on reserve status.  We all have to recognize that this could be Tillman’s final season; and based on the last couple signings (Rempel and de la Puente)  Emery will not hesitate to plan for the future.

Some will say, it is a deep draft at CB so there is no  hurry there either.  It is a deep group, but here is the difference between the CB class versus the DT and Safeties.  The quality drops off drastically after the top three.  If Emery is looking to complete the Inside Out model then he needs to draft a starter ready corner now and that means Dennard, Gilbert or Fuller. As Greg Gabriel said, you have no time to develop a corner as thin as the Bears are currently.

Now if you still want to play the wild card with Emery, then you could argue line backer. While the Bears have plenty of experienced and young ones on the roster, it still is uncertain how it will all play out.  Can Briggs and Williams stay healthy? Can Bostic, McClellin and Greene grow up and be stars? If Emery believes there is another corner in the second round is as good as the top three, then someone like Mosley could be the one.

In the end, it’s not what we think, nor Kiper, McShay or Mayock. It only matters what Phil thinks, and while we think he is different, he’s not. Just follow the map that Finks and Gruden made, and you will find Emery there.

Side note: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech will be working out today at Halas Hall. Earlier in the week Deone Buchannon, S, Washington State had his second meeting with the Bears.  They have met with Walt Aiken and Marqueston Huff both cornerbacks.  So far, they have met with more defensive backs than any other position.

Tags: Charles Tillman Chicago Bears NFL Draft Phil Emery

  • Nick Garren

    aiken 17th ranked corner, huff is the 12th ranked safety. they maybe the 6th rd picks.

    • Johnathan Wood

      Richard Sherman was a 5th round pick. Kam Chancellor was a 5th round pick.

      The deep draft is just as important as the early rounds. I like that the Bears are doing their homework.

  • Nick Garren

    Bucannon is the 6th ranked safety. Fuller is the 10th ranked Corner.

    • David A Maupin

      Don’t know what rankings you are looking at but Fuller will be a late 1st early 2nd round pick. He is similar to the corners in Seattle long and aggressive. Teams like that.

      • Jake

        Fuller is under 6 foot or 6 even Lol but I agree he is a late first or early second

    • brian mckendry

      bucannon is expected to go in the second round

    • John Vassar

      By most draft services not mock pickers, Fuller is the third rated corner, some have him fourth behind Verrett. Buchannon will be gone in the second round. I agree Aiken will be later, but Huff because he can play both CB and S will go in the third. If Gilbert is there the Bears will grab him.

  • Nick Garren

    none of these guys are worth the #14 pick. Bucannon may be a 4th rd? Fuller 5th?

  • Lloyd A Brodnax

    Let’s us not 4get about the safety from NIU Jimmy Ward.. I hear Green Bay is targeting him.. Now I’m not saying get him b4 our arch enemies do, just saying he could be a jewel of a safety in the l8tr rounds…

    • John Vassar

      Emery has not forgotten the safeties. They have had Buchannon in twice now, but he is more of a SS style. I like Terrance Brooks for he is more of a pure FS, center fielder type. Ward is a good one and unless they trade down he will be gone by the 51st pick.

      • Johnathan Wood

        I love Jimmie Ward and think he’s the best S in the draft.

        But I also think Bucannon or Brooks would be very good picks in round 2. Hopefully they end up with one of those guys.

  • Erik Lambert

    Dennard might be the better cover corner but if the philosophy remains to intercept and then score on defense then Gilbert is the pick because he’s got return ability in his blood. He’s also got the athleticism to play zone coverage. He is exactly what Emery likes: athletic, fast, and versatile.

  • John Colvin

    I say Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is our best option as of right now. Ward is a versatile safety, Buchannon is a SS we have been missing since Mike Brown, and Brooks has great cover ability but we can’t forget who’s playing QB in our division and our opponents this season. Rodgers, Brady, Kaepernick, Brees, and Matt Ryan are the best we face this season and without a slam dunk addition at safety being added to our squad in the draft it’s gonna be a long season for us.

    • John Vassar

      If Emery believes Dix or Pryor are the key to the outside and believes there is enough talent beyond the top 3 at CB then you could be right. Either way, we will see new CB and S’s in this draft. The fact, as of today, they are bringing in more DB’s than any other position. It just gets down to how Phil sees it, but be prepared for the unexpected!

  • Johnathan Wood

    I think DB is certainly a very real possibility in round 1. In that case, I would love to trade back, as you could do so and still get Fuller or Jimmy Ward in the 20s while picking up an extra pick. I know a trade back is easier said than done, but hopefully it falls right so that is possible.