With the Bears’ latest signing of former Saints center Brian de la Puente, it marks the 30th player they have come to terms with since the end of the regular season, and the 13th new player added to the Bears roster.
De la Puente has been a part of a Saints offensive line that has paved the way for some record-breaking statistics by Drew Brees and company.
It shows that Phil Emery has taken note of former Bears GM Jerry Angelo’s mistakes, as well as his own.
Following the Bears 2006 and 2010 seasons, Angelo failed to address the Bears offensive line, feeling as though they would stay where they were at, or get better. Both times the line crumbled and it stunted the Bears’ growth, preventing what could have been back-to-back playoff appearances.
De la Puente provides a solid lineman to likely take the spot of current center Roberto Garza, who has performed admirably for the Bears since coming here in 2005, really carving himself a niche with the organization as a stable locker room presence. But Garza is reaching a point in his career where he may no longer be a starting lineman, and de la Puente will likely fill the void.
While this signing is great, and should prevent any chance of the Bears offense taking a huge step back, Emery has done something to correct his own mistakes as well.
Signing all these talented pass rushers and run stoppers in defensive ends Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young will provide the Bears with a great base heading into the draft. The Bears will likely add a ton of talent at the defensive tackle position as well as the secondary to continue building up a defense after Emery watched it age and wither away before him last season.
It is also the opposite of the Bears’ maintenance and operations under Angelo to actually address the weaker side of the ball for a whole offseason. Adding so many players already shows the commitment Emery possesses and Angelo simply never had. Angelo would sign one or two guys on offense and hope that it fixes everything.
Like in 2009, when he thought simply trading for Cutler and signing aging tackle Orlando Pace would turn the Bears around. It didn’t. It also didn’t help in 2011 when the Bears signed all-time flameout Roy Williams to catch passes. It was this that finally did Angelo in, leading to the Emery take over.
The Bears finally look like they are trying to do it with both sides of the ball. Emery may have been right to feel as though the defense would continue their dominance even after letting Urlacher go. But he has all but admitted his mistakes by going on the offensive to rework the defensive side of the football.