The life of a general manager in the NFL is one met with very little praise and a heaping helpful of criticism from fans and media who decry every waking move he makes.
From draft picks to free agent signings to coaching hires to what he eats for breakfast, but you can count Matt Miller among the fans of Chicago Bears general manger Phil Emery who just finished his second season on the job.
“This may be a week late, but I love the job Phil Emery has done in Chicago. Outside of a questionable first-round pick of Shea McClellin, Emery has hit on draft picks, free-agent signings and the hiring of head coach Marc Trestman. The Bears are in very good hands.”
The verdict in Chicago, however, is split at best after an 8-8 season in Emery’s first season.
Emery has done well in building the Bears woeful offensive line with the signings of Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson and the drafting of Kyle Long in the first round and Jordan Mills in the fifth round.
He hit a home run when he traded up in the second round to draft Alshon Jeffery, but the jury is out on his defensive selections Jon Bostic, Khaseem Green, and McClellin.
Is he a guy who can only draft offense and not defense?
The 2014 NFL draft will be vital for Emery as the Bears need to address an aging defense with a couple Pro-Bowlers pending free agents and a high salary cap figure for Julius Peppers potentially leading to him being a cap casualty.
Ultimately his success will be based on the success of Trestman and Cutler who are now ties at the hip after the seven-year deal Cutler signed shortly after the Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers and dropped Cutler’s record vs. Green Bay to 1-8.
If Cutler lives up to the contract, then the Bears will be successful and therefore Trestman is as well, but if he continues to be prone to injury and can’t beat Green Bay, then the Bears and Emery may have to revisit their relationship.