Bears will talk to Notre Dame LB Manti Te’oContinue reading.
Emery: Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o ‘a very squared-away guy’
Bears general manager Phil Emery acknowledged the existence of Manti Te’o on Tuesday, but not much else.
Ever fearful of divulging too much information about players he might –or might not — draft, Emery would not comment on the Notre Dame linebacker after grudgingly admitting that the Bears did meet with Te’o at Halas Hall recently.
”Did we meet him? I’m not aware of that,” Emery said when asked about the team’s meeting with the Te’o. ”Yeah, I guess we did meet with him. But we’re not going to share that kind of information –although I will tell you that I found Manti to be a very good person, a very squared-away guy. I certainly enjoyed the meeting.”
In a kind of follow-up question, Emery said the Bears pay more attention to a player’s ”play speed” more than his 40-yard-dash time. Te’o ran a 4.82 40 at the NFL Combine and in the low 4.7s at Notre Dame’s pro day (though one watch had him at 4.69). Either way, Te’o's lack of blazing speed is a factor — especially for a team trying to replace Brian Urlacher.
”It’s important within a range of times that you find acceptable for the position,” Emery said, speaking in general about linebackers. ”More importantly, [it's] their play speed. Does he have good play speed, very [good] play speed, excellent, rare? We just go along with our scale.
”We ask our scouts to not look at the timed speed [but] to look at what they see in the fall, the tape and during their crosscheck assignments post the fall until February and put their own speed down for what they see as the play speed of the player. It’s more important [that] that’s sufficient or better than it is his 40-yard dash speed.”