Bears should be in Super Bowl discussion next year

Bears should be in Super Bowl discussion next year
January 31, 2012, 3:02 pm
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With Phil Emery officially sworn in as the fifth general manager in franchise history, the overriding question turns to how quickly he and his still-forming staff can be about the job Chairman George McCaskey set down in clear terms: winning championships.Emery received the requisite five-year contract from the Bears. It should not take him that long.Unless there are setbacks of the magnitude of the Jay Cutler and Matt Forte injuries in 2011, the Bears should be in the discussion for a Super Bowl trip in 2012. Nothing less.The reasons are simple: Emery takes over a team that was anything but a rebuilding project. The Bears were 7-3 when Cutler broke his passing hand. They had accelerated past the Detroit Lions and were being talked about as one of a small number of NFC teams capable of taking down the Green Bay Packers.Also, Emery is a draft builder, and 2011 showed convincingly that rookies can deliver impact on extremely high levels. If quarterbacks can play and play well immediately (Cam Newton, Andy Dalton), the expectations are no less from other positions on both sides of the ball.
Von Miller (Denver), Patrick Peterson (Arizona), Aldon Smith (San Francisco), J.J. Watt (Houston), all were standouts on their teams defenses. Deeper down in the first round, Danny Watkins was a starting guard for the Eagles; Gabe Carimi was the Bears right tackle before he was lost to a knee injury.Bryan Bulaga was Green Bays starting right tackle when the Packers won Super Bowl XLV a year ago. He was a rookie.Free agency comes before the draft but not surprisingly perhaps, Emery cited the draft first on how this all will be accomplished.The object is adding playmakers and if we keep doing that, and primarily through the college draft, and fill in where we see strengths in free agency, well close the talent gap, he said of rejoining the NFLs elite after one playoff appearance in five years.Emery is now on the clock. And his history says thats where hes most comfortable.

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