Jerry Angelo seems like such a distant memory. Even two games into the season new general manager Phil Emery has questions following him about the Chicago Bears roster. Why should fans take a breath and trust what he has planned?
Michael Bush and Shea McClellin moves are already paying off
Few Bears fans were sure what Emery would do when he took over for Angelo earlier this year. All they knew was he had 30 years of football experience from high school to the pros, mostly as a scout. That meant he knew talent when he saw it. He earned praise for getting Brandon Marshall but two moves in free agency and the draft had some scratching their heads. The first was signing productive running back Michael Bush. Most saw the move as insurance against Pro Bowler Matt Forte holding out into the season. Bare weeks later it seemed Emery saw a clearer picture when Forte sprained his ankle in the loss against Green Bay. With Bush on the roster the Bears likely won't miss Forte too much while he heals. The other move was taking Boise State defender Shea McClellin in the first round. Fans didn't know what Emery was thinking. McClellin was a late riser on draft boards but many thought the Bears would take a player from a more proven program. McClellin has answered those questions so far with 1.5 sacks and many quarterback hits through the first two weeks. For the first time in what feels like decades Phil Emery has put depth and young talent on the Bears roster. It's not a stretch to think he can do more looking ahead.
Smith notorious for slow NFL starts with and without Jay Cutler
No one cares to admit it but this is a familiar story for head man Lovie Smith. Aside from his 2006 team the Bears coach has built a reputation for starting slow but always rebounding after four or five games. It happened in 2005 when Chicago started 1-3 before reeling off eight-straight wins on the way to an 11-5 record. In 2010, the Bears were in a free fall at 4-3 going into the bye week. After that they won seven of their next eight games and won the division. Then last season they looked the same as this season. They won big in their first game and disappeared in their second. The Bears went 2-3 last year before Jay Cutler led the way to a 7-3 rebound before breaking his thumb. Frustrating as it is Smith knows how to get his team, and his quarterback back on track. All he needs is some good fortune with team health and some time.
There is no room for excuses in the NFL. The Chicago Bears learned that in Green Bay but fans don't have to listen to the media. Early signs, as well as history, say they can take a deep breath and trust Phil Emery and Lovie Smith. The arrow is still pointed up.
Photo Credit: Chicago Sports Life