Emery's work begins as season ends

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Emery's work begins as season ends

As the Bears' season came to a close following the Vikings' 37-34 win over the Packers, general manager Phil Emery's busiest part of the season had just begun.
With free agency and early preparation for the NFL Draft on the horizon of the Bears' offseason, Emery and his group of scouts and fellow front office personnel will attempt to address Chicago's weaknesses from 2012 and improve on them
"You're looking to see the guys that have that sudden dynamic athletic quality to change games, change momentum," Emery told Jeff Joniak on WBBM News Radio 780 before today's game, "and do it from their play and the type of person they are."
A season's worth of scouting collegiate athletes both live and on film, the Bears' scouts will soon meet with Emery to discuss their findings and where they believe a certain player can help the team.
"For me it's a very good period of time because it allows me to spend time with our scouts. It serves so many purposes; the December meeting for us in our system is extremely important," Emery said."It's a time that we pull all the information together and give each individual scout their opportunity to talk about the best players in their area at positions."
Emery and his staff will look for the best players through an array of tests to sort talent out, but the main factor will be comparing said players to current Bears.
"We work through the board, we work through each and every play at a certain grade level and above and how they can help the Bears," he said. "And the key part of our meeting and the way we structure it is every player is judged on one thing: Is he better or worse than the player that we have at his position, at the level that we grade the player?
"So is a starting corner better or worse than Charles Tillman? Is a starting defensive tackle better or worse than Henry Melton? So everyone is judged with that standard.And a scout has to stand up and have valid reasons based on his evaluation to make that decision, to talk through why that person is better or worse for the Bears. You always want to go into draft day feeling like you're drafting guys who make you better," he added.

Saturday on CSN: Kyle Hendricks, Cubs face Reds

Saturday on CSN: Kyle Hendricks, Cubs face Reds

The Cubs face off against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and you can catch all the cation on CSN. Coverage begins at 3:00 p.m.

Starting pitching matchup: Kyle Hendricks vs. Robert Stephenson

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Latest on the Cubs: All of the most recent news and notes

World Series thank-yous follow Kris Bryant to Las Vegas

World Series thank-yous follow Kris Bryant to Las Vegas

MESA, Ariz. – Kris Bryant didn’t need to pose for a Crate & Barrel billboard in Wrigleyville or walk a goat around a Bed Bath & Beyond commercial shoot. Cub fans just kept sending him free stuff.

The wedding gifts actually shipped to his parents’ house in Las Vegas, where he honed the swing that landed him on a new Sports Illustrated cover that asked: “How Perfect is Kris Bryant?”   

This happens when you mention your registries on a late-night show with another Vegas guy (Jimmy Kimmel) after leading an iconic franchise to its first World Series title in 108 years.        

So Bryant will be the center of attention in Sin City this weekend when the Cubs play two split-squad games against the Cincinnati Reds. But that spotlight will pretty much follow the National League’s reigning MVP wherever he goes. 

At least this gives Bryant a chance to chill at the pool and organize the house he moved into in January. 

“My mom just kept throwing stuff in my car: ‘Here, take it!’” Bryant said. “Opening all those boxes, I can’t believe how many presents we got from fans. It was unbelievable. Jess is going to have to write all the thank-you notes. I’m just signing my name on them. You have literally like 700 thank-you notes to write.

“I said: ‘You need to just go get the generic thank-you.’ She’s like: ‘No, they took the time out of their day to buy us a present.’ This is going to take her the whole year. So if there’s anybody out there that’s waiting for one…”    

The wait is finally over for generations of Cub fans. Spring training will always have a “Groundhog Day” element to it. But this camp – with no major injuries so far or real roster intrigue or truly wacky stunts – has felt different. As the players get ready for a new season – one without 1908 looming over everything – they can’t escape what they did. 

“Every day something reminds me of it,” said Kyle Hendricks, who will start Saturday in Las Vegas. “Even going to throw in these spring games, when they announce your name and the whole crowd erupts because of the World Series. That wasn’t happening last year. 

“Little things like that make me notice. Something every day is brought to my attention, so it’s still getting used to that part.”  

The Cubs insist there won’t be a hangover effect in 2017, believing that this young group is too talented and too focused to get derailed by distractions and overconfidence. But the Cubs could go 0-162 this season and Bryant would still probably be breaking down boxes for recycling.   

“It’s funny,” Bryant said. “We just put cameras on my house for security and I’ll just look at it sometimes. I’ll randomly see my mom just unloading boxes. I’m like: ‘Mom, what’s going on? Are we getting more stuff?’ She’s like: ‘Yeah, we keep getting more boxes.’”