Jerry Angelo will address the Bears’ 7-9 season this morning at 10. It will be the first time the general manager has met with assembled media since Halloween as he became unavailable during the second half of the season after years of mingling in the press box on game days. Perhaps Angelo allowed coach Lovie Smith to be a single voice for the organization during the season.
Whatever the reason, Angelo’s voice will be the one that resonates in the offseason as the club prepares for free agency and the draft, where it holds the No. 14 pick. Smith has already let everyone know he would like his entire coaching staff to return, as well as the entire 53-man roster.
``We would like for all of our guys to come back,’’ Smith said in his wrap-up press conference to the season Monday afternoon.
It will be interesting to discover how Angelo feels about that given the club’s drop off on both sides of the ball, particularly on the defense where the club has invested heavily, not only with draft picks but money, in building a talented core.
Three things Angelo needs to answer:
1. Will the Bears make a run at any of their own free agents? LB Lance Briggs, WR Bernard Berrian, QB Rex Grossman, special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo and TE John Gilmore, among others, will be unrestricted free agents. Typically, the Bears have headed off their own free agents before this point by signing them to deals. Is it realistic any of these guys will return?
2. Are the Bears in the market for a quarterback other than Grossman? Cleveland has made it known it will entertain offers for its restricted free agent Derek Anderson. His play dropped off in December, a primary reason why the Browns failed to make the playoffs. Is he an intriguing prospect? If so, at what price?
3. When Smith says repeatedly down the stretch that the Bears are ``close’’ to being competitive again, can they still be in that position if they lose their own free agents?
Stay turned. There promises to be some interesting developments that will be worth following into the spring.