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Bears GM Phil Emery: Character is a major consideration

2013 NFL Combine

2013 NFL Combine

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Updated: March 27, 2013 6:19AM



INDIANAPOLIS — If Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree drops to the Bears at No. 20, it would seem
selecting him would be an easy decision.

Ogletree is a 6-3, 242-pound former safety who eventually could replace Brian Urlacher or be even more valuable on the outside, with new Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker expected to add some different wrinkles to their base 4-3 scheme.

Still, there’s no guaranteeing the Bears would be seriously interested in Ogletree, a projected top-10 pick with plenty of physical tools, if he’s there for the taking come the draft in April — not with general manager Phil Emery stressing how important a player’s character is to his evaluations. Ogletree has a recent DUI arrest and was suspended four games for a failed drug test in 2012.

“The biggest thing is that you can’t see it all out there [on the field],” Emery said during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Field. “The interviews are very important. Trying to predict whether a person is going to produce at the next level, it’s a big step. So I guess that would be an underrated
aspect of [the combine]. ...

“We’re always trying to dig further on the character of a player and his background to try and predict what that person is going to be in those areas at the next level. How is he going to fit for us in the locker room?”

Emery ranks combine evaluations like this: medical, interview and workout. Even Ogletree seemed to understand teams’ thought processes on him, saying the best way to address his past is “just by having a good
interview.”

“[It’s] being a good person and just letting them get to know me and see who I really am and not what they just hear about me,” he said.

With the Bears having an apparent need for linebackers, there are others who deserve to have their character questioned. In fact, the linebacker position — with Ogletree, Manti Te’o (Notre Dame), Kiko Alonso (Ore-
gon) and others at the top of the class — may turn out to be the most scrutinized at the combine when it comes to off-the-field aspects.

For example, Alonso, the fourth-best inside linebacker, according to some analysts, was charged with burglary, criminal mischief and criminal trespass in 2011. And that came after he was suspended for the entire 2010 season following a DUI arrest.

The checkered pasts of players such as Ogletree and Alonso are more disconcerting than Te’o and the fake-girlfriend hoax to some evaluators.

Emery, for one, is looking forward to what the new NFL Player Assessment Test reveals. The aptitude test, which is different from the Wonderlic, is a mandatory one-hour, computerized test designed to find out about a player’s personality, learning ability, motivation levels and competitiveness.

“There are various ways that people test practical intelligence or practical
applied intelligence,” Emery
said. “We are one of the clubs that prescribes to one of those testing companies. Ours is HRT, Human Resource Testing.

“Everyone has their own mode. The most important part of it is understanding the test, understanding the content and how to gauge the results, and where it takes you.”



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