Emery: Bears didn’t shop BennettContinue reading.
Phil Emery on Lance Briggs’ restaurant trip: Bears ‘respect’ player privacy for days off
Phil Emery didn’t barbecue Lance Briggs on Tuesday for his excused absence the day before, calling the linebacker’s day off — secured three weeks earlier in a talk with coach Marc Trestman — a privacy matter.
The linebacker missed Monday’s session and opened Double Nickel Smokehouse, his namesake restaurant in his hometown of Elk Grove, Calif., later that night.
“Lance Briggs was excused for personal reasons,” the Bears general manager said Tuesday in an online chat with readers of the team website, www.ChicagoBears.com. “As any employer would do, we will always respect the privacy of our players, whether that concerns absence from work, injuries or medical history or contract status.”
Emery, who has not granted a wide-ranging interview with media members since the day before training camp began, touched on other topics, too:
• Jordan Lynch was “raw” on special teams, and that hurt his chances of making the team. Emery, though, praised the former NIU star’s “great effort” in trying.
“The assignments, and execution of those assignments, were new to him,” he said.
• Chris Conte looks good. Emery wrote that the Bears veteran— who Tuesday was listed as the backup strong safety — “looks the best that I’ve seen him, in terms of his body and his athleticism, since he’s been in the league.”
• • Marquess Wilson ‘has an exciting future.’ The team placed the wide receiver, who had surgery in early August to replace a broken right clavicle, on Injured Reserve-Designated to Return on Wednesday. He cannot practice until Week 7 or play until Week 9. Cornerback Kelvin Hayden, the Hubbard High School and Illinois alum cut Saturday, signed to take his roster spot.
• Michael Sam’s not coming. Though the Bears considered Sam as a potential undrafted free agent before the Rams drafted him, but the Bears are “set” at defensive end, Emery said.
• Earl Bennett was called. Asked why the team didn’t reach out to the former receiver, Emery was direct.
“We’re very pleased with our receiver group,” he said. “And please don’t assume that Earl was not called.”
• Devin Hester was too pricey. Emery said that, to improve the defense and eventually special teams, the Bears had to decide where to spend their offseason money.
“And we were not going to be able to meet Devin’s financial expectations,” he said.