New Boss: Same as the Old Boss?

The Bears fired General Manager Jerry Angelo after the 2011 Chicago Bears Season, ostensibly because they wanted changes. And ostensibly changes for the better.

But new GM Phil Emery’s signing of former second-round draft bust Devin Thomas seems just like Angelo’s modus operandi from 2011, signing former bust-outs Vernon Gholdson, Amobi Okoye and Roy Williams. So do we have a new direction or not?

Speaking of Okoye, I’m surprised Emery hasn’t seemed to want to re-sign the solid rotational defensive tackle. I have heard nothing about the Bears trying to bring him back, and Okoye is embarking on a free agent tour. Maybe parting with Okoye is the sign of a new direction, but why not bring back a solid, affordable reserve at a key position in Lovie Smith’s defense?

I’m still a little confused by the Bears’ actions during the 2012 free agency period. They have improved the offense by bringing in Brandon Marshall (if he’s not suspended for the whole season), Jason Campbell and Michael Bush. But I’m still really paranoid about the defense. Pass rush is the absolute key to successful defense in Smith’s scheme, and incumbent Israel Idonije won’t cut it across from Julius Peppers. With a stronger pass rush the need for a better corner across from Charles Tillman isn’t as great, but with no improvement there the corner position is again a liability. And the Bears’ safeties are inconsistent and frequently injured.

The window is closing. Super Bowl in 2012 or bust. Whither the defense?

5 Responses to “New Boss: Same as the Old Boss?”

  1. 1.) Sean K Jensen tweeted today that the Bears aren’t going to bring back Okoye unless he gives them a discount, so he’s probably not back.

    2.) I think it’s unfair to categorize the Devin Thomas signing the same as the Roy Williams signing–Williams was the only upgrade to that position, and was brought in to hopefully save the offense. Thomas clearly isn’t that–he’s only coming in as a backup guy, and if he figures it out, great. (I’ve also heard he played a lot of special teams in Washington, so maybe there’s that too).

    3.) I know people don’t like Tim Jennings but I think he’s quite serviceable. I’m not super worried about the starting CBs, though depth is looking shaky right now.

    Overall, we saw that the Bears wanted to upgrade the DL but they didn’t get the two guys they went for (Mario Williams and the Jacksonville guy). That happens. There’s no point in going overboard on a guy who isn’t going to be an upgrade now. I think the only thing to do now is to look to the draft, although I’d rather see the Bears go with a best player available mindset there than picking to fill a need.

    So far, I’ve been happy with the Bears offseason, but we’ll see for sure what happens after the draft. I certainly haven’t been upset with Emery so far.

  2. Let’s wait until Emery runs a draft or two before we label him as a Jerry Angelo clone. The signing of Thomas is more of a move to replace Corey Graham and Johnny Knox on special teams. Thomas was the gunner on the Giants that recovered the two fumbles in the NFC Championship game. He can also return kicks, hence insurance since I doubt Knox will be playing football this year. If he contributes as a 4/5 receiver, more power to him.

  3. This Bears team was possibly the second best team in the NFC behind the Packers before Cutler’s injury. So far the Bears have added major upgrades to the offense, and have pretty much kept the same defense. So if last year’s second best NFC team is even better this year, that is fine with me.

  4. Still need a LT and another pass rusher.

  5. Not trying to be a revisionist on what I wrote, actually I don’t think and didn’t mean to sound like I truly think Phil is Jerry #2. Way too early to pass that kind of judgment. I am eager to see how he does. Just story of the day, collecting another teams’ failed pick. I hope Thomas will turn out more like Okoye than Gholdson. And agreed, the Thomas signing is nothing like Williams-Thomas isn’t meant to be the #1 receiver. What a waste Roy Williams was and is.

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