WBEZ | draft http://www.wbez.org/tags/draft Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en What Phil Emery needs to get the Chicago Bears in the draft http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/what-phil-emery-needs-get-chicago-bears-draft-106790 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_phil_emery_pre-draft_jim_prisching.jpg" style="float: right; height: 222px; width: 300px;" title="Phil Emery addresses the media before the draft. (AP/File)" />Thursday is every holiday rolled up into one for Chicago Bears General Manager Phil Emery: the start of the NFL draft.</p><p>Several free agent signings in recent months have peppered this team with some needed help.</p><p>But the loss of some players to free agency and the decision to go in an alternative direction has re-shaped the Bears. There is also the desire to find replacements for woeful players.</p><p>Emery is talking all calls to move out of the first round with the team&rsquo;s 20th pick for the right deal. If the Bears GM could grab two more selections and fill positions like offensive guard and linebacker, a trade would be welcome.</p><p>This will be the first draft in a long time without Lovie Smith involved. Emery now has his handpicked head coach Marc Trestman.</p><p>There is no doubt Emery is focused on what this team needs.&nbsp;</p><p>When former number one draft pick Gabe Carimi is moved from tackle to guard and still has to compete with new free agent signee former Jets guard Matt Slauson and second year player (undrafted) James Brown you know the Bears feel that position may still be inadequate.</p><p>Offensive coordinator coaching guru Aaron Cromer says he doesn&#39;t care where a player is drafted. He will start the best five to protect the quarterback.</p><p>The only returning starting linebacker is 32-year-old Lance Briggs. Brian Urlacher is still waiting by the phone for a NFL roster spot. Nick Roach signed with Oakland.</p><p>Emery didn&rsquo;t hesitate to sign a couple of linebackers to one year deals: former Denver bronco D.J. Williams and former Carolina Panther James Anderson. Williams has a checkered past. Maybe a new team will help him settle down.</p><p>You can&rsquo;t forget last year the Bears dealt two third round draft picks for troubled Brandon Marshall. That deal not only worked out, it showed the Emery has guts.</p><p>The Bears have a couple of back-up quarterbacks on their roster: Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard. Neither is the future (or the present).</p><p>Jay Cutler will likely enter the season in the final year of his deal without a contract extension and the Bears would love for him to have a monster year.</p><p>The Super Bowl Champions in Baltimore had the same scenario last year with Joe Flacco. They are paying Flacco a ton of money now and their salary cap was decimated. But they will get their championship rings in a few months.</p><p>Sometimes you have to gamble and gladly win in the end.</p><p>The Bears should look for a quarterback in the draft. Seattle found Russell Wilson in the third round last year. Maybe there is another gem hidden in the middle rounds.</p><p>Emery addressed the offensive line&rsquo;s biggest need by signing left tackle Jermon Bushrod.</p><p>Getting tight end Martellus Bennett adds another weapon for Cutler. But if another quality tight end is available the Bears would likely make that selection.</p><p>The Bears may need to look for some youth at cornerback. Charles Tillman is 32 and injuries are a factor. Both starters Tillman and Tim Jennings were Pro Bowlers last season, but the league is full of talented and big wide receivers. Another cornerback could be necessary.</p><p>After the draft, the Bears will likely continue to fill out the roster with undrafted players, free agents and unsigned veterans.</p><p>One Bear who is still sitting waiting for a team is defensive lineman Israel Idonije. The NFL salary cap has hampered most teams. Veterans like him will either take a big pay cut or may be forced into retirement. Urlacher is in the same boat.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></em></p></p> Wed, 24 Apr 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/what-phil-emery-needs-get-chicago-bears-draft-106790 Why is a four-star general calling for the draft? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/why-four-star-general-calling-draft-101130 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4018253680_7af5bb0cf2_z.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px; " title="Lt. Col. Michael Cortez, Commander, 21st Theater Sustainment Command Special Troops Battalion, braces for the down draft from a landing CH-47 Chinook, Kitgum, Uganda, Oct. 16, 2009. (Flickr/US Army Africa)" /></div><p>Calling for a reinstatement of the draft is not exactly a popular political position. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is one of the few elected officials who has repeatedly come out <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/197787-rangel-again-calls-for-mandatory-draft-so-americans-share-military-sacrifice" target="_blank">in favor of conscription</a>, arguing that it would require individuals from all rungs of the economic ladder to sacrifice, not just those at the bottom.</p><p>It turns out that Rangel is not alone. The growing chasm between military and civilian populations also has Gen. Stanley McChrystal concerned. McChrystal, who oversaw international forces in Afghanistan, made waves at the Aspen Ideas Festival last month for saying he <a href="http://www.aspenideas.org/session/stanley-mcchrystal-leadership" target="_blank">supported mandatory national service</a> for high school and college graduates.<br /><br />&quot;I think if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk. You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game,&quot; he said. &quot;We&#39;ve never fought an extended war with an all-volunteer military. So what it means is you&#39;ve got a very small population that you&#39;re going to, and you&#39;re going to it over and over again.&quot;<br /><br />Indeed, only one half of one percent of American adults has served on active duty in the last decade. If that sounds small, consider that those years coincided with the country&rsquo;s two longest wars.</p><p>But McChrystal&rsquo;s argument went beyond military conscription. Citing the need for national unity, the general said he wants a civilian service option. Following McChyrstal&rsquo;s comments was a flurry of op-eds debating the viability of a national service.</p><p>In the <em>New York Times</em>, national security expert <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/opinion/lets-draft-our-kids.html" target="_blank">Thomas Ricks wrote</a>:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Those who don&rsquo;t want to serve in the army could perform civilian national service for a slightly longer period and equally low pay &mdash; teaching in low-income areas, cleaning parks, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, or aiding the elderly. After two years, they would receive similar benefits like tuition aid.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>What McChrystal and Ricks are calling for is not your parents&rsquo; draft but a model that resembles systems in places like Austria, Denmark and Finland where compulsory military service is paired with a civilian option.</p><p>On Tuesday&rsquo;s <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, Stanford University&rsquo;s <a href="http://fsi.stanford.edu/people/James_J_Sheehan/" target="_blank">James Sheehan</a> examines national service systems in other countries, the effect they have on society and what the U.S. can learn from other models. Setting up a massive civilian service wouldn&rsquo;t come cheap or easy. Given the national paranoia about big government, Sheehan thinks we&rsquo;re a long way off.</p><p>Also weighing in is Aino Miestamo, who provides one-month training to conscripts at Finland&rsquo;s civilian service center in Lapinjärvi. She says that many of the younger recruits&mdash;in Finland, you have until your early 30s to fulfill your service requirements&mdash;report that her training course is the first place they have ever openly formed or expressed political views.</p><p>While civilian servicemen can find useful work experience during their 11-month stint, she explains why, in her words, &ldquo;the stereotype [of a non-military recruit] still seems to be a fat, stupid, good-for-nothing, gun-shy mama&acute;s boy with nothing to offer to anyone.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 24 Jul 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/why-four-star-general-calling-draft-101130