Tuesday, April 1, 2014
No buyer's remorse for Emery
By Michael C. Wright
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Jared Allen easily passed the first test administered by Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery.
Now it’s time Allen proves it on the field.
Having worked against Allen for several years in Atlanta, Kansas City and Chicago, Emery said he’s seen plenty of game tape of the new Bears defensive end. But just before Emery came out on Monday to introduce Allen, he wanted to take one last look; a “buyer’s remorse check,” the general manager joked. After all, the club had just signed Allen to a four-year, $32 million contract, which includes $15.5 million guaranteed over the first two seasons.
“I always watch one more tape after [a new player is acquired] to make sure that I had all the ducks aligned, and that we are getting the person and the player that we thought we were,” Emery explained.
So the general manager decided to pull tape of Allen from near the end of last season, when a depleted Minnesota Vikings team blasted Philadelphia 48-30, which coincidentally came just a week before the Eagles routed the Bears 54-11 at Lincoln Financial Field. Emery wanted to see how Allen would perform toward the end of the year against Jason Peters, a six-time Pro Bowler.
“I randomly went through his games and I looked and said, ‘I need something at the end of the season,’ to see where his motor was at that part of the year, and I need something against a good opponent; somebody that was in the playoffs,” Emery said. “So I grabbed the Eagles tape. [Allen had] two sacks, tackle for loss, two hits on the quarterback, two pressures. [I ] felt pretty good. So you passed the test Jared.”
Now Allen needs to do that again for a Bears defense looking in 2014 to regain form. Emery has certainly done his part thus far in bringing in new coaches and personnel to help defensive coordinator Mel Tucker put out the best product possible next season. According to Emery, the work isn’t yet done as the club would like to ramp up the competition at a few more spots on defense; a goal the club will likely accomplish with a defense-heavy draft in May.
"Talking with the coaches and the talent that they’ve brought here and after talking to Coach Tucker and [defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni], the philosophy and the menality that they have, everybody thinks that defensive ends, all we want to do is rush the passer. Well, I come from a long line of thinking that you have to earn the right to rush the passer," Allen said. "So we’re going to get after it in the run game. We’re going to be a vaunted Bears defense again and it’s going to start with us up front.”