Maybe it’s me, but when Bears general manager Phil Emery says that new Bears linebacker Shea McClellin was the team’s best "pass disruptor" when he played defensive end, everyone looks stupid.
First, Julius Peppers. Emery’s statement means the mistake that is McClellin outplayed the waste of money that is Peppers when it came to getting pressure.
Second, McClellin. Being the best "pass disuptor"’ on a team with one of the worst sack totals is embarrassing in its failure and tells you he was more of a disaster when it came to outside contain than he was effective in getting to the quarterback.
Third, Emery himself. He’s still trying to defend his first Bears draft choice, but if he’s so proud of McClellin’s pass disruptions and if pass disruptions are so important, then why is he moving McClellin to linebacker?
I’ll hang up and listen for my hummena-hummena-hummena.
There are so many layers to Emery’s and the Bears’ utter failure with the defensive line, but the most damning thing coming out of the GM’s office is that he is now being forced to redraft a pass rusher just two seasons after spending his top pick on that kind of player.
Emery said the McClellin experiment taught him to focus more on size and length with defensive ends, and I’m thinking, just focus on football players.
Here’s an idea: Focus on playmakers who face real opponents on a regular basis instead of in a conference where it’s a big deal to play in a bowl game involving poinsettias.
There’s a bit of hope that might prevent Emery from adding to his list of bad defensive picks, and that’s the draft being pushed into May. I’m hoping the extra time between the NFL scouting combine that ends today and the later draft weekend will allow the Bears GM to focus on game tape instead of "American Ninja" auditions.
But then, the extra time also might allow Emery to make mistakes in free agency, such as this talk about re-signing gimpy defensive tackle Henry Melton. That would be no more than a guess. The Bears are in no position to guess wrong on the defensive line. They’ve done that enough already. That’s why they continually redraft the position.
Seems to me, the Bears would be better off with a rookie who’s healthy. I know what Melton did before, but now he’s coming off knee surgery that undoubtedly will impact his burst and effectiveness. I don’t know what it will do to his ability to help stop the run, but it can’t be good, and the run defense is another issue that we haven’t talked about.
And it’s a big problem. So big, in fact, that fixing the Bears defense looks like a five-year plan on its own with the defensive line taking three of those years.
The Bears’ run defense was historically bad, which is saying something for a historic franchise. With that joke of a pass rush, it seems like the Bears have to pick one to improve first.
Me, I’m going with the best pass rusher available. It’s a quarterback league, which means you need someone to tackle the quarterback. You know, the way Peppers used to. That was, I don’t know, $14 million ago.
I have to believe that even those wonderful Bears talent evaluators who brought you last season’s pathetic defense recognize they can’t waste $18 million more on a guy who gives them maybe one game a month.
I also have to believe that Emery recognizes a disaster when he helps create it. That’s the good news and the bad news. The worse news might be that Emery is the first one who now has to fix it.