I think the biggest thing you take away from the hiring of Phil Emery as the Bears new general manager is Emery is someone trusted who understands the Bears way of doing business. Emery has walked the Halas Hallways before as a scout, but expanded his duties apart of expert draft teams under GM Scott Pioli formerly of the Patriots and now GM of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Drafting, talent evaluations and eventual fit of draft picks schematically into the Bears' offensive and defensive systems proved problematic under Jerry Angelo. President Ted Phillips identified the Bears' lack of roster talent as the number one reason why the Bears had to make a change. For example, the Detroit Lions have had over 200 roster moves alone, along with double digit trades to upgrade their roster under Lions GM Martin Mayhew.
I believe Emery will implement the Pioli methodology to drafting. Normally, there are over 330 players who attend the NFL Combine in Indianapolis at the end of March every year. Pioli and the Patriots would target 30 players who fit the Patriots criteria of scheme, talent, character, and need. The GMs responsibility was to then move up or down the draft board to acquire those players. The Patriots would trade down acquiring more picks, for example, if their number one player was already selected. Ideally, the Patriots would put themselves in position for their targeted guys. Then Pioli would target free agents and other professional league players to supplement the team before and after the draft. If a free agent was signed prior to the draft, that position would have less priority, unless the player targeted was available at their selection. Pioli could then release the veteran free agent in training camp if the draft pick proved worthy to be productive.
Existing veterans mixed with youth to teach and police the locker room indoctrinating them to the Patriot Way we have heard so much about. The Patriots will be making their fifth Super Bowl appearance in 10 years. It is hard to argue with the success, consistency, and the Patriots way of conducting business. I believe Emery will strive to accomplish this goal.
The 2017 veteran makeover of the Bears’ wide-receiver position group continued on Thursday with the signing of former New York Giants wideout Victor Cruz to a one-year deal, a fourth move this offseason fitting an intriguing pattern in Bears roster construction.
Cruz “announced” the move on his Instagram account, declaring, “The Giants will forever be family,” Cruz wrote. “But for now, Bear down!!!” He becomes the fourth free-agent wide receiver signed by Bears and coming in with no fewer than four seasons of NFL experience.
The Bears have been about the business of shoring up their receiver group virtually since the 2016 season ended, adding depth in addition to filling in the vacancies created by Alshon Jeffery leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles via free agency, and the subsequent release of veteran Eddie Royal.
In their places, the Bears have added Cruz, Rueben Randle (Jan. 10), Markus Wheaton (Mar. 10) and Kendall Wright (Mar. 11), in addition to having Joshua Bellamy, Daniel Braverman, Cameron Meredith, Deonte Thompson and Kevin White in place.
Cruz, whose trademark Salsa dance to celebrate touchdowns has been an NFL staple over his six seasons with the Giants, for whom he started 53 of 70 career games after signing with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Massachusetts in 2010. Cruz has caught 303 career passes for 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns, earning a Super Bowl ring with the Giants and earning selection to the 2012 Pro Bowl.
Cruz has not played a full 16-game season since 2012, when he caught a career-best 86 passes for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. He missed all of 2015 after rehabbing from a torn patellar tendon in the 2014 season and then suffering a calf injury that eventually required surgery. The Giants released Cruz in early February this year.
The Bears added some veteran depth to their wide receiver corps on Thursday.
Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announced on Instagram that he's signing with the Bears.
Cruz visited Halas Hall early last week and announced on his radio show earlier Thursday that he had narrowed down his choices to the Bears and Baltimore Ravens.
Cruz, 30, missed the entire 2015 season with a calf injury, but bounced back to play in 15 games with the Giants in 2016. He had 39 receptions for 586 yards and a touchdown.
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Cruz has appeared in 67 career NFL games and has accumulated 303 receptions for 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns. Cruz earned Pro Bowl honors in 2012 and second-Team All-Pro honors in 2011.
Cruz helped the Giants capture the Lombardi Trophy over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. During the 2011 playoffs, he had 21 receptions for 269 yards and a touchdown.
Cruz joins a crowded wide receiver group which includes Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, Daniel Braverman, Titus Davis, Tanner Gentry and his former Giants teammate Rueben Randle.