Chicago

Chicago

The long-anticipated remodeling of the Bears Personnel department came with two especially interesting elements.

One was the quantity. Once upon a time a Bears personnel head asked for two scouts to add to a scouting staff larger than only that of the Cincinnati Bengals. He was told he could have one.

The changes announced on Tuesday under GM Phil Emery add no fewer than eight scouts and give promotions to a half-dozen more. Those include the two top jobs under Emery, with Chris Ballard taking over as pro scouting director and Marty Barrett as college scouting director.

The other element is trickier.

The vast majority of moves are either promotions from within or re-hiring a former Bears player and front-office worker in Dwayne Joseph.

Typically the goal of a makeover is to bring in much-needed change. Thats why Jerry Angelo is out as general manager.

An immediate question in the current cases, however, is whether promoting from within an organization that has failed to achieve sufficient success is really a change at all. Promoting a scout does not make him a better scout.

But one key to success for small businesses (NFL teams are small businesses, mid-sized at best, measuring by size of staff) is having their staffs go elsewhere for experience.

Emery started with the Bears, then worked for the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs. Joseph went from the Bears secondary to the front office under Mark Hatley but has spent the last eight years with the Miami Dolphins.

 

Emery is a general manager with significant experience in organizations other than the one in which he started. Same with Joseph, who is a second assistant pro scouting director with Kevin Turks.

What the Bears have done is put more eyes on college talent (three new area scouts, four new scouting assistants). All of them are from outside the organization, which has by its own admission drafted poorly, which is why Angelo, Greg Gabriel and Tim Ruskell are gone.

And they have added a GM and assistant pro scouting director who were with the Bears, picked up eight years of experience elsewhere and came back.

The axis upon which all of this turns is Emery, his organizational skills and philosophies, beginning with his preference for focusing on ceiling with a player rather than floor.

Promoting so many incumbents may turn out to be a business-as-usual situation. But I seriously doubt it.