Chicago Sun-Times

Meet the press: Angelo

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When Jerry Angelo finally emerged to discuss the season that disappointed him to the point of making him scarce for a few months, at least the Bears general manager stood and talked for a solid half-hour.

What he actually revealed was very little as he prepares for organizational meetings that will chart a course for the coming months. Sure, he shared his disdain for the state of the offense, but those expecting a bold proclamation were not entering Thursday’s press conference realistically. The nucleus for a top 10 defense remains in place and Angelo likes some of the pieces on offense.

We’ll run down some of the highlights from the session:

Q: Will you explore opportunities to upgrade at the quarterback position?
A: We’ll look at anything. I know that sounds cliché-ish but we will. We’ll look at anything that we feel that will be able to upgrade our roster. But we also have to be pragmatic about it as well. So I’m not going to rule anything out at this point. We were a 7-9 football team. Obviously we have things that need to be corrected and fixed and we have to be honest in our evaluation and we will be honest in our evaluation. And once we determine what our needs are then we’ll address those first and go from there.

Q: What has to change to eliminate the futility the team has experienced on offense?

A: I think we have a good nucleus of offensive players. We have a good blend. We have good possession down receivers, I think we have good slot receivers, we have speed receivers. Where we did not perform well was in our running game. We weren’t able to get the big plays out of the running backs. That does affect an offense like ours particularly when I stand up here and say that the mantra of our offense is to run the football. So we’re always going to be looking anywhere on that offense and what I said, that we have to address that a few weeks ago, part of that is the quarterback position, it starts there, getting that stabilized, and making sure that we can do the things that I outlined early on.

Q: Do you agree with coach Lovie Smith wanting to keep his staff intact?

A: Yes, I agree with that, and I know there’s been a lot made of that. He’s got to feel comfortable with the people that he works with every day, and that obviously is Lovie’s call. He feels real good about his staff. We’ve talked about that. We feel the problems that we have can be corrected. We have made changes on our staff before. If that were what he felt was in our best interest, I’m sure he would have done it. But again, he feels good about his staff. We’ve won with these coaches and we feel that the problems that we have as we go on we need to do more soul-searching so-to-speak, but when we do we feel those things can be corrected and be corrected with this staff.

Q: How do you approach the situation with Rex Grossman set to become a free agent?

A: We’ve got to get the position stabilized. I felt going into the year, this was the best we’ve ever been. Each one of them played good football at some point in time. It’s unfortunate that we had to see all three of them again. So first and foremost, we have to get the position stabilized going into ‘08. That will be determined in the spring and obviously the preseason. We would like to have Rex back in the mix. We’ll talk through that as we get into our meetings with our coaches. Rex showed some good play, particularly when he was coming back off his little sabbatical. So we’d like to have as much competition as we can there. But again, we’ve got to get that stabilized. That’s got to be first and foremost.

Q: How close is this team to being back at a championship level?

A: Right now what we want to do is fix what we feel is broken. Once we get our ship in order and we get back to playing the kind of football consistently that we’re capable of playing—and we got a snapshot of that in the last two games. Those were two good football games. I’m not going to get euphoric and say that’s who we’re going to be ’08. But it was good to see that we could still play that kind of football. You did see consistency, more so on the offense. You did see the kind of defense that we’re accustomed to seeing, and again you saw good special teams. We played well as a team. We weren’t able to do that throughout. Does that mean we’re going to have to make household [wholesale] changes to get to that point? I don’t feel we need to. But we need to get to that and if we get to that point, then we’re going to be a good football team. It’s that simple. And then it’s going to be determined on Sunday. I don’t think we’re that far from being that team that you saw in the last two weeks and certainly in ’06. But we do have to do some things in this offseason, and again, we have time and we’ll take that time and when we do make decisions, we’re not going to make them as I have alluded to before emotionally. I want the coaches to take some time off, go through their cut-ups, let us look at the things that we feel really are the problems and then we’ll address those.

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11 Comments

Looks like GROSSman is back. The Bears front office simply doesnt want to win, and will keep betting one of the best teams on this dope.

Jerry,

We only need to change three things. Ted, Lovie, and you.

How many more years are we going to have to put up with the "stability at QB" excuse? Stop talking and go out and spend some money to get what we need. Did anyone notice the stands at the Bears/GB and Bears/NO games? They were full in miserable but Bear like conditions. Doesn't the city of Chicago and its faithful Bear fans deserve more? And the Thomas Jones trade?.....another blog entry awaits..

Having REX is key to a successful 2008 campaign and to be honest the reason for a terrible 2007 was the fact that REX was benched. Griese is garbage, afterall why is he on his 4th NFL team? Orton is good third stringer and hopefully he will never have to take another snap in the NFL again. REX is the answer at qb and the real problem is the DEFENSE which is no longer what it used to be b/c of a lack of safties.

I distinctly remember, after firing Jauron, Angelo saying that, "Ultimately, a GM is graded or judged on how he's handled the quarterback position."

... well, Jerry, by your standards, how you doing? how do you grade out?

... pretty lousy grade, i'd say.

Angelo said "Fix what's broken first"??? That would be to fix the management by firing Angelo for trading RB Jones, refusing to upgrade the QB position and letting go two good DBs, keeping an aged O-line and allowing that egotist Lovie Smith to replace Rivera with Babich, his old crony. Hold Lovie accountable for the failings in '07 just the way he was rewarded for one good season in '06. It should go both ways.

Sounds like Angelo understands that he screwed up big time, once again. It's time Virginia fires Angelo.

Ok Thats it! im sick of you Jerry Angelo.You pretend everything allright?!!!!The Bears have HUGE problems !You must get a solid QB.why are you and lovie not trying to get an established QB?We dont want Grossman or Griese.Why Lovie did you fire Ron Rivera?How can you possibly say you want to keep Rex?Listen keep Orton Get rid of Rex and Brian, they stink!I cant believe this!The McKaskeys,Jerry angelo and Lovie smith all shoulb be ran out of town!Hey chicagoans,are you sick of this already? I live in fort wayne IN now and if they do not make changes in QB,Off coor,off line and RB i will NEVER buy a Bears ticket jersey or hat again!!!

Long time bears fan has a right to his own opinon but OMG keep REX?Are you crazy? Get a good qb and have kyle orton back him up!Rex is done hes a has been!Give me a break.Jerry Angelo please focus on Qb,Qb,QB.O-Line would be nice too.The Bears are done if they dont fellas and ladies!If the bears do not sign or draft a QB and o LIne i will never root for them again.Well un less the Mckaskeys get run out of town.And Lovie Smith is an egotistical idiot!His staff is horrible and all his puppets!I live in IN now .Guess ill be a COLTS fan until the McKaskeys sellout or stop bieng cheap.When will chicago fans learn? You guys support the cheapest owners in the US.Riensdorff,Mckaseys,and the tribune! Wake UP!!

From my vantage point, here are the core problems the bears must address, in no particular order:
1. Offensive line. Without a good run blocking scheme, and little pass blocking, the bears will continue to struggle. Must upgrade personnel.
2. Defensive philosophy. Let's face it, the cover-2's cover has been blown. Teams figure us out quickly. How many quick slants, 5-10 yards down the field, turned into big gainers. Sure, we blew a number of tackles, but the scheme itself rendered us vulnerable to the big play.
3. Running back. Need a quality player with heart and toughness. Benson doesn't seem to fit the bill. Get what you can for him in a trade and move on.(another 4th overall pick lost--remember Curtis Enis?)
4. While I hear everyone's yapping about the QB situation, someone needs to give Mariotti a chill pill--get over it verbose one. To keep harping on the disgrace of not having a franchise QB in the modern era is a stale, not mention inaccurate refrain. I thought Jim McMahon was an excellent QB! That said, I don't see the answer coming out of the draft. Not real impressed with the 3 names most often talked about as being first rounders (and how long will it take to develop them should one pan out? 2-3 years? Are you goping to be that patient, Jay?), and can't see giving up a 1st and a 3rd for Derk Anderson. McNabb ain't leaving Philly. What is your solution, Jay?

It's pretty obvious to everyone with half a brain that the problem is Angelo. I don't understand how the 2nd largest market in the NFL fails to consistently make the play offs. We have the money. Make some moves.

I am feed up. I don't understand why if everyone is pissed off about the signing of grossman to not show up at the games. Angelo and the McCaskey's obviously don't care about what this team needs....Signing booker..oh good..why didn't we just keep snoozin muhammed . Unreal, the bears are looking at boosting the o-line...for what? so benson has a little bit more time to tip toe around, make a ham sandwhich and check his myspace....guy blows, rex blows, angelo blows, lovie blows, marty's old...oh and blows, and we have to sit through another season. I wonder when Mike brown is going to get hurt again. I'm going with 1st preseason game. I can predict who the bears are going to get to back up rex and kyle...How about Tomzack? Just another year. Thanks Chicago cheap ass bears....

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 4, 2008 8:00 AM.

Angelo finally to discuss season was the previous entry in this blog.

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