Bears

What Emery is asking prospective Bears' head coaches

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What Emery is asking prospective Bears' head coaches

So I've been asked a lot about why Phil Emery is interviewing so many different coaches for the Bears' vacant head coaching position.

The purpose of talking with so many guys is simply to learn as much as possible. Whether it be about offensive systems, philosophies or even other assistant coaches, there is a method to the madness.

Head coaching interviews are as detailed as, or more than, any job in sports or otherwise. Some key topics that are always discussed in these interviews include systems style on both offense and defense.

Since most of the coaches being interviewed by the Bears are offensive guys, they may lay out a good chunk of what they do in terms of utilizing personnel and their overall system. Some coaches will have an entire power point presentation.

One thing every prospective head coach brings to an interview is a long list of potential assistants he would pursue to join his staff. He may include dozens of guys since many may be under contract and unable to leave their current jobs. The list is dissected by the GM and there may even be coaches the GM says he won't accept for various reasons. By seeing the same names pop up on different candidate's lists, GMs can learn who the most highly respected assistant coaches are.

Other topics that are sure to be open for discussion include: how do they practice, meet and discipline players? Oftentimes a coach will have an entire mock practice schedule for the season prepared, from the responsibilities of the assistants to whether the head coach will play the role of the CEO and allow his coordinators to run their sides of the ball or if the coach is going to be a play-caller and oversee his expertise.

The size of the staff is also a big topic. Can the head coach have assistants to assistants, such as an assistant defensive backs coach or offensive assistant, which are not quality control jobs? How many video people are on staff? What is the size of the training staff and other support people? Salaries of assistants have become important. Many teams pay their coordinators at or near the one million mark and the top assistants receive around a half million.

In the Bears' case, the subject of Jay Cutler will definitely be debated. If the head coach isn't sold on Jay after a year, he may want to know if he's tied to him for the long haul. The new coach may want to draft a young QB or look to the market for a possible replacement. Despite being considered a franchise QB, any good coach will look at the number of coordinators he's had and his production.

The new head coach will certainly want to have some say on personnel, even though Emery will have the final say. No coach wants to feel helpless when it comes to the players he's given.

I could go on and on, but that's just a small amount of what takes place during a Head Coaching interview. The more people Phil Emery talks to, the more information he gains, which helps lead to a very informed decision. It's a much better formula than picking one guy and saying "that's my guy"....

NFL will reportedly cut 2020 preseason in half; will drop Weeks 1 and 4

NFL will reportedly cut 2020 preseason in half; will drop Weeks 1 and 4

It's long been rumored, but on Wednesday things became a bit more official: the NFL will reportedly cut the 2020 preseason in half: 

Shortening the preseason has been a topic of conversation around the league for a while now, but a new urgency has been attached to the idea because of the ongoing the COVID-19 pandemic. As states continue struggling with rising infection rates, beginning the season on time looks more and more unlikely. The NFL has already altered their season schedule to accomodate for a delayed start or early-season interruption. 

It's especially bad news for the Bears, who were planning on using all four preseason games to determine whether Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky would win the starting quarterback job. Without half their preseason games (they'd lose games against Cleveland and Tennessee), things obviously become much trickier. 

Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson has talent to contribute quickly

Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson has talent to contribute quickly

In talking to various trusted football minds around the NFL recently, two common thoughts come up when discussing Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson:


1. He should have been drafted in the fourth round.
2. He was playing out of position at Tulsa.


It’s very possible that the latter impacted the former. The Bears traded up in the fifth round to draft Gipson at No. 155 overall and they’ve been very decisive with their plan for him – he’s going to be a 3-4 outside linebacker in Chicago.

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Many of the “tweener” pass rush prospects in the NFL Draft play in different fronts in college than they do when they transition to the NFL. In Gipson’s case, he played in a three-man front at Tulsa, but was used more as a five-technique on the line of scrimmage. With the Bears, he’ll be in a base 3-4 defense, but playing a different position on the edge.
You don’t have to watch a lot of tape to understand why Bears general manager Ryan Pace and defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano want to use Gipson on the edge. At 6’6 ⅜” and 261 pounds, he has an 81 ¼” wing span that can’t be taught and his lengthy frame doesn’t give him a lot of leverage when he lines up in tight spaces on the line. He’s better off using that length on the edge and, in my opinion, his best college tape came when he was lined up wide.


Realistic rookie expectations: Gipson is a bit of a project because he’s switching positions and he certainly hasn’t been helped by COVID-19 shutting down offseason practices. But the Bears aren’t asking him to start right away. They have Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn to rush the passer. Gipson has the talent to contribute as a rotational player and perhaps he can provide an occasional spark off the bench. His college production doesn’t lie. Gipson had 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss in his final two seasons at Tulsa.

RELATED: Bears' Cole Kmet might have huge rookie year for this reason

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