Monday, March 10, 2014
This is just sad, even for the offseason.
Ahh the offseason. What's a football columnist to do without any football happenings? Make a total ass of himself. That's the answer.
This column by the Tribune's Steve Rosenbloom started from a reasonable enough standpoint for the kind of obvious waffle that fills up the time between the Super Bowl and free agency. Shea McClellin was a bust at DE, and now the best he can hope for is to compete to maybe earn snaps at linebacker.
But you can't write 1,000 incensed words about that at this point, so Steve had to try to take it a step further. Clearly, the lack of success on Shea's part is indicative of some horrible failure on Phil Emery's. Let me tell you, the result is not pretty. Usually I just kind of surf the Chicago newspapers until something catches my eye, but we actually got requests that I put this loathsome piece of shit out of its misery. And so, with a heavy heart, I dug out my italics.
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.
I'm going to assume by "everyone," you just mean "Phil," and you're trying to look charitable. In all seriousness, I can't find that quote anywhere but here. I'd be interested in the context, because Emery made it pretty clear at the end of this season that he was not happy with Shea's performance. They're forcing him to compete for the right to play at a different position, and Phil called him out by name on multiple occasions as a problem area.
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.
I'm gonna hop on this one right now because this sentiment has been going around entirely too much lately. Yes, Peppers is no longer worth his salary, and everyone involved knows that. But the deal that he has was what brought him to Chicago in the first place, and it was absolutely not a bad decision to do what it took to make that happen.
They'll cut him and they'll eat the money and that's fine. This is something that happens. Very rarely does a player's existing contract sync up perfectly with the year he stops performing. In short, Julius Peppers was worth every penny and they'll deal with the fallout, so eat a dick.
This is not to say that I agree with what he's saying Emery said, but again without context that's a hard battle to fight.
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.
Another fair statement, but I'm not entirely sure what the argument is here. Whether they were good or bad, it is Phil's job to make adjustments and get the best performance he can out of the players on his roster. If you just want to throw insults at Shea McClellin, I can hardly stop you but... I mean, someone paid you for this.
As an aside, that sentence was an incredible mess. "Embarrassing in its failure?"
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?
Because McClellin is a Goddamn liability in a lot of ways, and it's possible that putting him in a situation to better take advantage of his speed and size might mitigate that? Either you want him where he is, or you want him moved. You can't complain that he's a bad DE and then also complain that they're not letting him play DE anymore, Steve.
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...
Chief among them being that the two strongest interior linemen suffered season-ending injuries, Stephen Paea was never really healthy, Julius Peppers is not in fact immune to the ravages of time, and two of the three linebackers for the most important parts of the season were rookies? I mean honestly, Steven, grow the fuck up. I don't like to lean on injury as a total crutch to excuse a team's failure, but suggesting that a GM should've been prepared to lose half of a fucking unit and have top-quality replacements lined up is just childish.
... 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.
So if you draft a guy in the first round, you're not even allowed to draft somebody who plays in the same unit in any round in the next three years? And, even ignoring how hilariously inaccurate that sentiment is, what the hell do you want him to do?
Sure, Shea McClellin is not what Emery hoped he'd be. And you know what you do in that situation? You get a guy who is. Even if every other asinine thing you've said here is true, replacing Shea is the right thing to do. Either you think he's bad and you want him out, or he's fine and you don't have a leg to stand on. I know you're gonna write a bunch of semi-informed tripe because you're a hack and it's the offseason, but at least be a consistent self-important dispshit.
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.
So wait, he made a lousy pick in his first draft, acknowledged it, and then went on to explain what it taught him to look for going forward? What a monster.
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.
Nope. Fuck you. You guys made a big stink about Kyle Long coming in without much experience against quality opponents and he went to the Goddamn Pro Bowl as a rookie. Brian Urlacher came from a school I'm not even convinced exists. If you can honestly look at Shea McClellin's performance and say the problem is that he didn't go to a big football school, you're even dumber than I thought.
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.
What "list" is that? Brandon Hardin just got really badly hurt, I have a hard time saying that means it was a bad decision to draft him in the first place. Bostic and Greene were less than stellar, but they were only even seeing significant playing time because of injuries to the starters. I have every confidence that both of them will evolve into serviceable players, at the very least. Isaiah Frey has done everything you could possibly expect him to do.
If you don't like Shea, fine, but don't try to turn this into a sweeping failure to evaluate defensive talent you fetid sack of shit.
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.
1) This is just getting unnecessarily nasty. If you can honestly look at Shea McClellin, Kyle Long, Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson, Isaiah Frey, Jon Bostic, and Khasseem Greene and still say "What a terrible drafter," you're just a dumb fucking hack out to take the Man down a peg because your readers demand it. Oh, that's exactly what's happening.
2) Have you seen American Ninja? I would draft Private Joe T. Armstrong in a fucking second.
Unless you mean American Ninja Warrior, in which case get your shit straight. Again, if you're gonna be a big meatball asshole, at least do it right.
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.
Yeah, nobody has ever come back from a bad knee injury before.
They'll get Melton back on a comparatively cheap one- or two-year deal because that's just what happens when you get badly hurt in a contract year, and everybody already knows that.
That would be no more than a guess.
Man, it's like you never quite know what's going to happen in a football season, and you are in fact betting that you'll make a good decision. But what a crazy world that would be, right?
The Bears are in no position to guess wrong on the defensive line. They’ve done that enough already.
Yeah because it's not like they've put good unit after good unit on the field in recent years, and just had a bad one thanks mostly to a malevolent spirit harvesting knee ligaments around the NFL all year. And it's not like Henry Melton, Corey Wootton or Stephen Paea ever had repeated productive seasons and earned a continual spot on the roster. Clearly they just never draft or sign good offensive talent.
That’s why they continually redraft the position.
Okay, enough. "Defensive lineman" is not a single position. You have four on the field, plus more on the bench. By your definition, they "continually redraft" wide receiver, defensive back, offensive line, and in fact all positions that are part of units. I mean Jesus, they took two offensive linemen this year, I don't see you complaining about that shit.
If you had just made the point of this article "Shea McClellin is teh sux0rz," that'd be fine. It's an overplayed opinion and it's reaching for content to fill the dead zone before free agency, but at least it's accurate. But you just had to try and turn it into some important revelation about Phil Emery's ability to draft defensive talent and now you look like an impotent dumbass.
Seems to me, the Bears would be better off with a rookie who’s healthy.
MAKE UP YOUR GODDAMN MIND.
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.
I feel like we've talked about it. We've talked about it a lot.
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.
I want you to think very carefully about that statement. You think it will take three years to fix a 4-3 defensive line that lost two players to injury? I'll let you take it back.
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.
Thankfully "strong, talented linemen" is a pretty good way to fix both of those problems at the same time. As is giving your linebackers more time to develop, replacing the injured ones, getting safeties who can tackle a running back, and a host of other things. Believe it or not, you can do multiple things in a year.
And really, this is just Steve reaching as low as he can so he can't be proven wrong. Are the Bears going to be a top-five defense next year? Probably not. But they don't have to be. I know Chicago has this ridiculous idea that we're owed a dominant defense because DATS WHO WE ARE DITKAAAAA, but that is not the case anymore. A top-20 defense would've seen this team to the playoffs, there's not a doubt in my mind.
Me, I’m going with the best pass rusher available.
Again, the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. You employ multiple people on a football team. If they sign Melton, there is not some kind of zany rule that means they can't draft a pass rusher, or sign Michael Bennett.
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.
What is this column about again? Emery didn't even sign Peppers.
I have to believe that even those wonderful Bears talent evaluators who brought you last season’s pathetic defense...
Nope. Wrong. You cannot possibly be suggesting that they should've looked at the 2012 defense and said "We should cut all those guys."
... recognize they can’t waste $18 million more on a guy who gives them maybe one game a month.
They've already come as close as they possibly can to saying they're going to cut him. But sure, we can already be mad at Phil for something that hasn't even happened yet and probably won't.
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.
I usually try to end these things with something snappy, but I don't even know what those words mean.