Chicago Sun-Times

Angelo unfiltered: A complete look at his press conference

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We've spent the better part of the day (and evening) going over the remarks of general manager Jerry Angelo today from his Halas Hall press conference that lasted a half-hour. Here is a transcript of the session so you can go over it for yourself:


Not a good time obviously. We anticipated to play this week, unfortunately it didn't work out that way and I don't really want to get into the season, I'll let you ask questions obviously if you want and we'll talk about that in terms of questions and answers. Really want to talk about going forward what the process will be. I think that's the thing that we're focused on and being proactive and going into the '09 season, But before I start that I don want to say this and this will always be our mantra as along as I'm here and I know as long as Lovie's here, that we'll never be accepting of mediocrity. We had a 9-7 season, I know that's a winning season but we didn't make the playoffs, we fell short of our goals, and our goals are always first to be a competitive football team. That's first and foremost. If you're not a competitive football team, you're not going to put yourself in a position to win. Naturally from there we want to win our division and that's our goal every year and that's very realistic goal. You're never going to hear me say rebuilding or we have to take a step backwards or subliminally send a message to our fans that we aren't going to be a good football team or we can't, irrelevant of what the situation is. You see that a lot, you saw it with Atlanta this year, nobody gave Atlanta any chance. Come in with a rookie quarterback doing the things they did, it happens, and it happens every year. That's just the dynamic of our season, so every year we expect to win and we're not satisfied with mediocrity, we never will be satisfied with mediocrity, even though in some cases mediocrity is probably the best we can be. If that's the case, so be it, but our goal is always the same every year and I want to make sure our fans understand that. Very disappointing the way the season ended obviously, particularly when we went into the last game having some control over our destiny. It didn't work.

So we're here now and we're moving forward, and the process will be as what it has been in years past. There's always pressure when you don't get into the playoffs, that goes around the league and that's here as well at halas Hall. We haven't made the playoffs the last two years, and that is bothersome and we do feel that pressure and we are going to work very hard this off-season in terms of what we're going to do. If changes need to be made, changes will be made and those things are going to be talked about thoroughly. Sometimes when you talk about change, change might come in the form of your approach and what you're doing. Like in the off-season a few years ago we cut our timeline with our players from 14 weeks to 10 weeks and I thought that was a very good thing, I thought our players when we first did it we didn't know what to expect, but I felt that was a big plus for us in what we did. So some of the things that we do logistically we're going to talk through at length, we're going to talk about again the approach we've taken, that approach is what Lovie touched upon yesterday with schemes, with players with coaches how we do business, etcetera. And we need to look at everything now, and I'm not saying we haven't before but we have to go back to the drawing board so to speak, and we need to do that again and we will. We have more time, unfortunately but we're going to take advantage of that time to do those things. I feel very confident that we have a good core of players and a team in place. I'm very confident. We'll add players obviously, but if we didn't add anybody, we're still going to be a good football team, people, and I feel very strongly about that.


JA: I know Lovie probably better than anybody in this room. Lovie and I talk a lot and what I construed that statement to mean Dave was that Lovie is a great leader, and all great leaders create hope., he does not want anybody, our fans, our players ever thinking that there isn't hope. I know that's what he meant. And he, as I was after the game, we were visibly upset, very, very disappointed. I'm sure Jim Hendry sees a side of Lou Piniella that we don't see. I'm sure [Kenny] Williams sees a side of Ozzie [Guillen] that we don't see. I don't know that maybe we don't see it with Ozzie, but anyhow, there might be some things that Kenny deals with at times and that same can be held with Lovie and our relationship. I promise you nobody is any more competitive than Lovie. He's driven to win and our p;layers know that. I think the one thing you could say about the Bears this year, most of the time is that we were a pretty resilient team. You didn't see much quit in this football team. Take that Green Bay game up there that was probably the only game that I felt like hey we just weren't ready to play. Other than that you have to give the other guy credit, too. We played the Texans, they did a pretty good job, after I looked at that tape what they did in terms of their offense, their offense was good for a reason. They did a nice job on our defense, it wasn't lack of hustle to the football or anything like that. We made some mistakes but good for them bad for us, but it wasn't a lack of effort. I felt one of the strong points of our football team since I've been here is we have been a resilient team, we've handled adversity, we play hard, we come to play and usually that game goes down into that fourth quarter.


JA: Well we haven't talked about that at length, we've touched on it again, we've only been two days postseason so we'll get into that in all likelihood a little bit this week, and we'll talk more about it next week. We want to have a little bit of down time to get people collected so to speak, but we've touched on that some so far and I'm sure we'll continue to get into that next week.


JA: I think the world of Rod Marinelli. I would love to have Rod Marinelli on our staff and I think Lovie would say the same thing. He's a great football coach. Anytime you get a chance to get a great coach or great player, you're not going to sit here and say that you wouldn't consider him or you wouldn't work a way to do that. But again, that's premature, the answer to your question about Rod because I do know Rod. I think Rod is a very good coach and he'll be a great addition to any staff.


JA: Well, the disappointment in the defense was the inconsistency in the defense. We just never really hit a real plane where we were able to maintain a consistency. That created frustration because that's tough now. When things aren't going right, it's hard to say, 'Well, really, what is it?' Is it attitude? Does it have to something do with the scheme? Is it the personnel? That became for me personally, that was frustrating to watch. I thought prior to the Houston game that we were turning the corner on defense. We were doing things a little bit better, showing a little bit more of that consistency. So the big issue probably again was the inconsistency of it.


JA: Well, I don't know that everybody -- if it's about effort, that's probably what I'd be a little bit more sensitive to. I can live with a mistake. I can live with a guy maybe not being good enough as long as they're going hard and they're playing and giving their best. That's really all you could ask out of a guy. If we made a mistake on his talent and we thought something, that's one thing. But then if they're not playing hard or playing up to their abilities, that's on them and I do take that very personally. And I will address that. That will not happen here. I am disappointed with a few players. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I'm not. And those players are going to have to be accountable for what they do. I'm not going to get into names, but that's the bottom line and we are in a bottom-line business and we're competitors. That's being part of a team. If you're part of a team, you're giving your best each and every day. That's not asking too much; that's expected and that will always be expected here in Chicago as long as I'm here and as long as Lovie's here.


JA: I think you've seen our track record. I'm not hesitant to cut anybody. I don't let money get in the way of doing what's right for this football team. No, I'll take that on any day of the week. Egg on my face doesn't bother me. Pain in the locker room, meaning guys aren't producing and aren't good karma for this football team, does. So whatever we need to do, we will do to be the best we can be. We make mistakes. That's part of the game; every team does. I've always said this: The only thing worse than making a mistake is justifying it, and I think we have a track record of doing some things out of the box at times when we feel we need to do them. But we don't act emotionally. We don't. It's not knee-jerk. These things, we talk behind closed doors and we're very candid and we're very honest about how we evaluate our players, how we evaluate everything. So I don't want anybody to run when I say that.


JA: You have to. You can't put your head in the sand. You might have said there was a little bit of a Super Bowl hangover last year, I know that was said. I'm not saying it, but I know that was said. We had some injuries; injuries are part of the game. But you could say that there were reasons, there was history for some of the things that went through. But this year, things didn't come along maybe quite the way we wanted them [to]. That's why I said when I started this, we need to look harder now. The hardest thing to do for any football team is to evaluate themselves. I've said it before, it's very, very hard to do. Look at all the teams this year that started out great and then just went into a real tailspin. It's very difficult and we're no different. But to get good, valid evaluation, you have to be objective and you have to be honest. That is our goal and that's what we'll do this offseason. We need to do that in every area. We do every year, but we need to be a little bit more adamant about some things that maybe we hadn't done in the past so to speak. But again, that's just part of the business. We understand it and we'll get through it. Now we have been together a long time. That's a good thing. It's a good thing when you have that kind of continuity because we do know how each other thinks. We all have strengths, we all have weaknesses and we play off those strengths and weaknesses too as an organization.


JA: Well, you're asking me a lot here, but when you're not playing consistent football, your job's not good enough. Obviously you have to be consistent in this league. If you're going to win, you have to be consistent in what you do. It just goes with the territory. We weren't consistent and those are the things that we'll get into. I don't want to go any further than that because we haven't talked about anything. I don't know what all the issues are. There are things that are going to be shared with me that are going to give me things to think about. There are thoughts that I have. I'm going to have different opinions. I know one of our coaches made a statement on one of our players. I don't necessarily feel that way. Does that make him right or me right? No, we'll find out, but we do need to come to an agreement at the end of the day and then once we agree to something, then we make it work. One thing about good organizations that I do know is they know what they have to do and they know they need to do it together and you need to operate as a team. We can't have finger-pointing. I will say what I feel, as Lovie will, as his coaches will, behind closed doors. We will be very candid and very honest. I know you would love to be in that room, I know you would, but that's just not the case. I can't sit here and say all the things that I feel to you today. All I can tell you is that we'll be very honest. We see what you see, and we will be very objective about our approach. The things that we can change, that need to be changed, will be changed. That's all I can tell you. Right, wrong or indifferent. Not every decision we will make, as much as we believe in it, will work out. That's just part of the business, too. But hopefully you don't miss big.


JA: I don't want to get into that. We do have NFL experience on our staff. We had a lot of NFL experience when you bring in the continuity of the staff working together. I know where you're going with it. When things aren't going right, it's a legitimate question. If we need to look into that more, we will, but again that's a little premature right now.


JA: Not really. Some of the draft picks, I know Dave wrote an article, a few days ago or a week ago about some of the draft picks not playing or performing but the way I look at it, they haven't played yet. Until they play we can't sit here and say for sure what they are or what they aren't. I want all our draft picks to play and I think the draft picks, I think there were probably five that played this year, and when they played, they all contributed, which was a good sign to see. But in Earl [Bennett's] case he didn't get a chance to play.


JA: He didn't. That's a coaching decision and our coaches felt, and I say this to our coaches, `You put the best players on the field that give us the best chances to win on Sunday.' That's their call. Do I bring up players from time to time? How's it going with him? Here's what I think. Certainly, I do that. But ultimately, that's their call because they live with the players, they know the players, they're in the meetings with the players. I'm not. That's their job. That's what their paid to do.


JA: Well, I'm not convinced 100 percent obviously. I believe in Kyle but until Kyle puts a good year together we can't say for sure. I saw some really good things out of Kyle, particularly early on in the season, he didn't have the second half of the season that he did the first half of the season. Is that part of the growing pains that come along with the position? I can't answer that right now. We do believe that Kyle has some good things, really buy into Kyle the person. He's shown an exemplary work ethic, leadership to be named captain by your peers I think speaks volumes, particularly at that position, but really do feel good about Kyle. He's still a work in progress. We have time. We're going to take our time and we're just going to have to wait and see.


JA: I think we have to have competition at that position, yes. I know Lovie said that we have to have competition at all positions but we still have to keep an eye at that position more than any. We have to get that position right. I know that there is going to be a lot of talk about a No. 1 receiver. Guys, it starts with the quarterback. It's all about the quarterback. You don't win because of wide receivers. You don't win because of running backs. You win because of the quarterback. We've got to get the quarterback position stabilized. We're fixated on that and I don't want us to lose sight of that. The rest of that is peripherous stuff. That's something that if you don't have anything to write about, you'll write about that. It starts with the quarterback and that's the bottom line.


JA: I don't know that yet until I know who is out there but if we feel that is our best option then we have to look at it very seriously because that's what I just said. I can't say one thing and come back and do another. That position has to get righted. The offense starts with the quarterback and we know it's the most valuable position on a football team and we have always been mindful of it. We've gone through so many different scenarios at that position we can write a book, more so of what not to do than what to do. But I do have confidence in Kyle. I don't want anybody coming out of this thinking that you know we don't believe in Kyle. We do believe in Kyle. But Kyle has got to take another step and that's the bottom line. It's a very difficult position to play, it consumes an inordinate amount of money on your cap, it's a very big decision and we're going to measure twice to cut once on this one.


JA: Gun shy? I don't know if I would use that. It makes me sound weak. I do have my weak moments but I am certainly not going to share them with you. I would say that any time we do a contract extension we look at it very, very hard in terms of knowing the player, not just from a talent standpoint, it starts with talent first and foremost, but making sure to that we buy into the person. I always talk about our locker room. You can't have a good football team unless you have a good locker room. Character is very important to us in terms of what he does here each and every day in terms of his work ethic, his love of the game. But you don't know for sure. It's impossible to know. It's like the guy that won the lottery. He's not going to be the same guy the next day but you hope the core of what that person is the same. Sometimes they don't work out. For the most part I think we've had a pretty good batting average since we've done a lot of them in my time here. But you're not going to hit 100 percent. Nobody does.


JA: No, the one person I do believe in in terms of every day and who he is is Brian Urlacher. I will never question his commitment, his passion, his love for football. He has too much character, too much pride to ever not be the best he can be. Is he the Brian Urlacher of old? I can't say that. I can't say that. Could he still make a Pro Bowl? He still has enough to make a Pro Bowl. He's still a very good football player. I have to go with what I saw on tape guys, just like when you go to the game. But I have a lot of confidence in Brian. He's been a great player for the Chicago Bears. He's been a great leader for us. I respect him immensely, and you have to look at the total package when you evaluate a player.


JA: I don't know. I'm not a medical person, I'm not a psychic. All I know is what I see on tape. That's what I evaluate, is what I see on tape. That's in black and white. That's the bottom line. There's some subjectivity. But that's the way we try to do business around here when we put a value on our players. Brian is a very good player. He's been a great leader for the Chicago Bears. I respect that immensely and we are glad that we have him on our football team.


JA: I'd say this with Tommie: He's had a lot of things go on, and I felt like about the midway point of the season, things started to settle down for him. I'm not going to get into Tommie's personal life--that's none of my business--but I know he shared some things early on, and I feel like he's got things together. He's grounded. And I felt we saw a lot better Tommie Harris, particularly in the last quarter of the season. I feel strongly that he's going to come back and give us the kind of play that we paid him for. I feel very strongly about that. I'm seeing the arrow going up. He knows what he has to do and Tommie holds himself accountable.


JA: The only thing I can say about it is that you're seeing more quarterbacks become recycled and do well. This year it was the over-the-hill quarterback gang, when you look at Frerotte, you look at Collins, you look at what Kurt Warner did, you look at Garcia. It's amazing. You would have never thought that 10 years ago. The quarterback play, it looks like it can come from anywhere at any age now. So again it's tough. Part of it is the supporting cast, etc., the scheme, those things all have a play into it. I don't want to overrate the position. I just want to make sure that we understand the value of the position. Is it all on his shoulders? No. You've still got to block. You still have to run the football. You still have to catch the football. Those things are important too. So I don't want to underscore those.


JA: No, not necessarily. I think there's been a lot of players that have ascended. They have the traits and the things that you look for. If you're patient with them, they'll develop. Really I would say almost half the league starting quarterbacks at some point were fourth-round, free-agent types people that were patient with them and they've done a good job. We can go that way, too. We're not ruling anything out. But when we talk, we'll explore all our options once we know what those options are.


JA: No, we said that that was a possibility. I made this statement to Devin and I think I've said it here to some of you if not all of you at one point, that there's never been a No. 1 receiver and a No. 1 kick returner. If there's never been one, there's probably a reason for that. So I anticipated the potential of Devin's returns to fall off given the fact that we were going to escalate his play time at receiver. We wanted to escalate his play time and that's the course we chose to go down. His returns did suffer. Now is that to say that's the absolute reason why? I don't know that. Teams got better with their coverages, being there was more of a sense of urgency. I'm sure they did a lot more studying and how to cover with Devin. There are probably other things there too. He wasn't the returner he was in the last couple years. We're going to look at that real hard too and make sure we continue to define what his role is because the one thing that we know about Devin and he showed it at receiver is that he's a playmaker, and when you get a playmaker, you want to make sure you get him the ball the best way you can to make as many plays as he can on Sunday.

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Brad did Angelo just single you out during this confrence?

Well people at least the guy was honest. I do agree with him on his comments about a QB they do need a franchise QB and he does not know how to draft one.

He is wrong about needing a reciever though, unless he believes Hester is good enough to be that guy, and then he can bring in a guy like Engram.

Lovie has more power than Angelo and is worse at spotting talent than Angelo. Both guys seem to have taken a shot at the other this week in very sutle ways. Lovie commented on recievers and Kyle being there QB and Angelo seems to disagree about Orton and feels recievers do not win you games.

Well sense niether can agree on QB's or Recievers can we at least fix the lines and get a saftie. DE, NT, SS on defense and RT, RG, C, QB and WR on offense. Thats six picks and 1 free agent. Thats all, just six perfect picks and J Peppers. Ok forget QB and WR cause I get the feeling Angelo and Lovie are gonna go at it over that issue so how about 4 decent picks and Peppers. Ok so the Bears are only getting like 1-2 starter out of the draft a year, so how about 3 good picks and Terrell Suggs. Thats still a bit of a reach isn't it? Ok 2 starters and Kevin Carter and Bobby Engram. You know what that actually looks like something they would do. Lovie likes Carter and Engam is the type of reciever the Bears go after, in fact he was a Bear just like Booker was. Perfect.

Like I've said before... it doesn't matter who we draft, trade for, or sign. Lovie won't know what to do. When life hands Lovie lemons, he tries to make cocoa. It won't work! Show him the door! Get rid of Jerry and Teddy too.

No one asked about Lovie? He is the headcoach and Babbich is/was his baby. Not to mention his defensive (in a shell?) mindset. A lack of focus on offense coupled with an average defense is not a recipe for success. Lovie seems to think you win football games by magically having the other team give you points.

The Bears are doomed until that mindset changes. That likely won't happen until Lovie is replaced.

Quick! Go get a 'real' coach and grab Mike Shanahan! Lovie and the 'close' crew need to go somewhere else for the new year!

It is true that a dominant defense wins championships without a star quarterback ...but only once in a blue moon. Quarterbacks DO win championships and I completely agree with Angelo it is time Chicago stop settling for mediocre at this position. John Elway, Tom Brady, Payton Manning, Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Brett Farve, Johnny Unitas, Terry Bradshaw..shall I continue? Kurt Warner, Joe Montana...come on people sure we need to fix the D but just look at the history of superbowls and most often it is the QB...not the D that wins it. The question is how can the Bears improve at QB? The free agency pool of QB's is unimpressive and our draft pick isn't high enough to pick the top rated QB's..will the rare NFL trade be in the works? Kyle is immobile and has no deep ball, stares down recievers, has the ugliest pump fake in history, sure he needs better wide outs but...Way to go Angelo...fix that position first!

Its hard to make out of what Jerry Angelo had to say, as fans, all we can do is speculate.

I think as far as Kyle Orton goes, this was Angelo's way of saying were not going to extend you this off-season. As far as what free agent QB Angelo will go after, your guess is as good as mine? It does sound like Angelo will bring in a veteran though. One thing Angelo said was very intriguing as far as the QB's. Angelo was asked, after talking about the success of other veteran QB's throughout the league this year, "Does that trend make you look more for a veteran backup?" Angelo replied, "No, not necessarily. I think there have been a lot of players that have ascended. If your patient with them, they'll develop. Really I would say half of the leagues starting QB's at some point were 4th round or free agent types, people were patient with them and they've done a good job." Could this be a vote of confidence for one Mr.Caleb Hanie, we'll have to wait and see?

Angelo does have other more pressing concerns than QB. Chicago needs to fix their WR position, pass rush, and they need a free safety. I say go the free agent route, as far as receiver, like say TJ Houshmandzadeh, the guy could be a good complement for Hester. Houshmandzadeh had 92 catches for 904 yds and a 9.4 yd avg. I wouldn't be scared off by the 9.4 yd avg, the stat that really shows what Houshmandzadeh could do for Chicago is, 51 first downs out of his 92 catches. This tells me he is money on third down, Chicago needs this. As far as stretching the field, Hester could do this very well, they would make a good combo. Another reason I would go free agent at receiver is, a rookie receiver usually doesn't contribute right away, a rookie free safety or defensive end could. Chicago should look to the draft for help on defense, as far as a free safety and defensive end, just a thought, happy off-season Bear fans & GO BEARS!!

I still think its a little early to see who they might bring in both on the coaching front and players. They do recognize the need to upgrade certain things especially on the defensive side of the ball. Angelo did say he liked what Orton did early, but that he needs to do more to get a long term deal, I agree, he needs to work on his body and throw more this off-season, be given another reliable target to throw to next year and see if he improves, if so we can extend him in mid-season. Getting a quality QB in as competition, gives us an option if he regressess or gets hurt. Defensively we need a playmaker or two, one in the secondary and either a strong-side LB or rush end with explosiveness and the ability to still play the run, on offense add a receiver, and shore up line with youth to get more push and create bigger holes for Forte to run through, a lot of times he gained yards this year because he had a big body, and as he fell picked up 2 0r 3 yds, but a lot of times he made something out of nothing. The DB's are not that far away since that is where we have a lot of youth that has gained experience, Graham has potential to ba an all-pro guy , Payne needs to go back to stron safety, his tackle numbers this season were very acceptable for that spot and he picked off 4 balls, Manning is a good nickel and return guys, so the free safety is what we need, Stelz provide depth. I can see where they feel they are close, but they are also close to not being a playoff team if they do not get some playmakers soon to take up for Briggs, Big Paw Brown, and Urlacher aging and then completly breaking down. I think Houshmanzadeh could really help but don't know his price range. Using Olsen down the middle of the field for a change would also improve the offense some as well! Creighton made a good point 2 starters per draft is what we have seen from Angelo, this year with the right 2 starters drafted they should be able to make a run with the schedule they have, Harrison in the weight room is also a plus, and keep Adams he flys around the ball, hustles his A -off and Harris simply plays better when he's on the field. Trade bait at good value Wale( thanks for the solid play) and Vasher( quality but injury prone corner) could also help to bring picks for depth.....Go BEARS 9-7 in 08'......hopefully 11-5 in 09' and playoffs

You know it makes me laugh when people start talking about the Bears picking up a Boldin, Haynesworth, Housh. as when was the last time the Bears picked up a top Free Agent?? WHEN!!??? Thats right NEVER, NADA, ZILCH, ZERO! and No Booker/Moose does not count! So what makes the fans believe the Bears will all of a sudden change after all these years and pick one up now. The Bears build through the draft and pick up marginal Free agents (maybe), Tait was the only Free agent I remember that could even be mentioned big name and he was a GREAT pickup, he has gotten old, can't get mad at him for that, but these Free Agents you guys are naming is dreaming big time. Don't get me wrong I would love to pair Haynesworth with Harrison/Adams that would be awsome, but NEVER,NADA comes into mind so lets focus on the marginal Free Agents and the draft guys? It is time the Bears started getting into the Free Agent Pool, we can not survive without it, but Bear history says otherwise.

A top QB would be nice JA, but who gave us no QB all this time that you are mentioning? You are indicting your self Mister. Just maybe JA is trying to setup the opponents for draft day already trying to make them think we are drafting a QB so they will leave the DE to us. What he can possibly do about the QB I do not know, bring in a free agent? draft another at 18? like Grossman? Use Hanie? We never make trades or pick up big name Free Agents so it's a mystery to me unless he is talking about Hanie, or an older QB that can be had. here's hoping he rights the ship fast as I believe he has one more bad year and its adios amigos

2 starters lol - thats all we need, we don't need nuthin else just 2 starters.... and a WR, we need a WR, just 2 starters and a WR thats all We need we don't need nuthin else...We need a DE.....and thats it thats all we need 2 startes a WR and a DE and thats it.....except.....

Forte (good pick) would no doubt have had that Rookie of the year award if we had a decent Oline. d...

Housh would be an awsome FA pickup, I had him on my fantasy team and the guy produced even with a backup QB. (while Johnson did nothing) He would not go cheap at all, The Bengals surely would be stupid to let him go and Super Bowl contending teams will be looking hard at him, so I do not see the Bears being there - McCaskey Money does not go that far and he would not feel we are in contention for a ring. it seems we always get the Moose's and other teams get the Housh's.
I agree we have more pressing needs than QB, It would be nice to see Hanie move up as Rex surely is gone. (not saying I don't like him but the writings on the wall)It was nice watching Warner play good again, the old man showed emm he still has it. and after all he's been through....

Randy, why wouldn't Moose count as a top FA acquisition? Before he came here, he had a stellar year in Carolina with 1400yds receiving and 16 TDs. He was definitely a top free agent at the time.

I love sitting here on my comfy chair and fantasize of the Org making the great decisions all of us dream up about. But unfortunately guys, that's all these are. I too would love to see Housh, Haynesworth, and all or in my case ANY of these guys in a bears uniform. I wish that we the fans who certainly appear to have more common sense than the Org had the democratic option of voting off people from not only the Org but also the team. With these GMs and Coaches you should and have to take their words as the wind blows. They are another form of politicians and the first amendment and the freedom of the press quite frankly is treated very similar in they get denied of the truth and then the avergage shmoes like us end up neglected.
I wish JA and Lovie would get their egoes down from the Dick Cheney level and produce successful end results by getting sturdy and heart-filled players. Ah man, hold on my alarm clock is going off...

In this interview Jerry Angelo showed how clueless he is about offensive talent.

First, the Bears already have a great prospect at quarterback in Caleb Hanie. If I can see that as a MERE FAN, a professional like Angelo should be able to see it easily. Of course Hanie's talent has to be developed so that he goes from being merely potentially good to being actually good, and the Bears have never developed a good QB in my lifetime, with the exception of Jim McMahon who couldn't stay healthy.

Second, while a good QB will make the receivers better, the receivers must get some separation and not only hold onto the ball but actually go get it when it's not thrown directly to them. During the last Minnesota game, one of the national TV announcers mentioned that the Bear receivers were not getting any separation (we've seen all season how they can't hang onto the ball and, except for Brandon Lloyd, never go get it). So Angelo is wrong here, too. The Bears need much better receivers.

Third, the Bears refuse to allow a quarterback to have a strong personality. Well, guess what? Almost all good QBs have strong personalities, which explains why the Bears never have a good one. They couldn't deal with Brian Griese's strong personality while he was in Chicago, so he didn't get to play in 2006 even though he was clearly better than Rex Grossman. And he was not reinstated in 2007 after his injury healed and he was let go for the same reason. Even worse is that Jeff Garcia, who's better than any QB the Bears have had in my lifetime, with the POSSIBLE exception of McMahon, was practically begging to come to Chicago a few years ago, but the Bears passed on him. Again, too strong of a personality for the jerks who run the Bears, so we don't get an outstanding QB.

Additionally, Angelo obviously still buys into Lovie Smith's philosophies, both overall and on defense. Those philosophies posit that you have to play conservatively on both sides of the ball: don't ever give up big plays on defense and don't do anything risky on offense. This attitude causes players to play tentatively and will never produce a team that regularly competes to get into the Super Bowl.

There's a lot here, and some of it goes very deep into the causes of why the Bears are no longer Super Bowl contenders. Angelo clearly needs help evaluating college offensive talent, and his approval of Smith's ideas are also very problematic. Without major changes, I don't see how this team will get back to the big game again.

ahhhh...waht did i tel you looser bears fans?? dint i say they would miss teh playoofs????? wel it sholdnt shock anybody becusase i am always right (man iam always right) ands i only give facts.
ansd waht is taht brad??? angelo unfittered? wel ho about crap-ton gone wild!! angelo is a looser ans a bum and now look HE MADER THE BEARS HAVE THERE WORST SEASOON EVER!!!! i now you loosers think 9-7 is okiedokie smoky but im saying its the wroest ever because ANGELO IS THE GM and im always right ans thats why its the turth!!!! i now you loosers fans are wunderig why i hate angelo soooo much. wel we went to the samew high school and hwe was always cooler then me ans all the girls like dhim and he smelled good ans was nice to people. but worst of all he seal the girl of my dreams:
Crap-arella. so tahts why i HATE ANGELO ohh ans i HATE BRRRANDO!!!!! hwo is nice ans clean and well manered and smiles at people ansd brushes hid teeth...........................

but you guys now me old crap-ton just rying to be posative...

p.s. i HATE BRRRRRRRRRANDO!1!1!!!!!!!!!

Giving Orton another WR would not have helped him this year. He couldn't hit them anyway. And he had accuracy problems before his ankle injury. Wasn't there two times Booker was wide open early in the year and Orton missed him badly. Lloyd looked good early in the year because he was making so many acrobatic catches, because Orton's balls were so off target. How many times late in the year did Orton miss Hester deep. Twice he underthrew Hester and Hester picked up the pass interference call against New Orleans. I would rather have 6 points than the ball on the 10. Don't get me wrong, we need WR help, but when our WR were wide open with nothing but daylight in front of them Orton couldn't connect. He can hit the TEs and RBs no problem as long as they're in the flats or running down the sideline. He tends to throw behind and receivers crossing the middle. Which doesn't matter if they are in the end zone (Greg Olsen), but it kills a receivers yards after the catch. I'd like to see another QB brought in and I hope Angelo is serious and aggressive. Now all that said, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Orton were the starter. He has won quite a few games for the Bears, but an upgrade would be nice. It would even make our defense a heck of a lot better if they weren't on the field so much.

Moose was a marginal player that was a No. 2 receiver - his numbers were high because he I believe Steve Smith was injured that year but his career stats would show mostly 500-800 ypg up to that point with a couple 1,000 yard season back in the day. See his stats here:;_ylt=AmxOnLVRJcoa5XaA0TllQo7.uLYF

JA brought him in as a No. 1 - which Moose was not and didn't turn out to be either, now Steve Smith is a top receiver, that is what I meant by top free agent, someone No.1 at their position, not a No. 2 that posts big numbers because the No. 1 takes the heat off him.
I had Moose on many of my Fantasy Football teams but I never ever picked him as my No 1 receiver, I made sure I picked a true No. 1. in fact Moose would last untill my 3rd WR pick, I could always count on the other Fantasy teams ignoring him and I would pick him as my No. 3 WR. The other guys ignored him because they did not consider him a top pick.

Compare to Steve Smiths (4) 1,000 yard seasons in a row! Same team.

compare to T.O. (5) 1,000 yard seasons which would have been (8) if not for the season in Philly 7 games that year and he still had over 700 yards that injured year!

Nope Moose was not a TOP Free Agent WR with (1) 1,000 yard season back to back in my opinion and wouldn't you know it his numbers went back up in Carolina this year, I wonder why?
He was a big pickup for the Bears only because the Bears don't pick up true top Free Agents.
That said I really feel Housh or Boldin would be a great pickup for us, but I just don't see the Bears spending the money and it makes me wonder the more Creighton mentions Engram if he is on the money with that.

Actually BYU developed Jim as BYU at that time were a QB producing machine. Steve Young was next up for BYU and we all know him of course. (See below), McMahon happens to be my favorite of all time because of exactly what you stated Wrigley, attitude, Jim was good with an attitude and I agree a QB with an attitude is a good thing. Anyone see P. Manning get in Jeff Saturday's face (his buddy center) yelling and screaming redfaced with spit flying with an attitude? Hey, Manning WILL get in your face if he feels you don't put out the effort! And he likes Jeff too, lol!

`Young ultimately decided to attend Brigham Young University. Initially, he struggled at passing, and BYU's coaching staff considered switching him to defensive back because of his athleticism. However, he worked hard to improve his quarterbacking skills and eventually succeeded record-setting Jim McMahon as the Cougars' starting QB.'

There is alot here as JA did not get us that top QB and now he is saying we need a Top QB and not getting on the Defense -there is something wrong there.
I like Orton and Rex but I am not naive enough to believe they are Top QB's either. No Manning in that bunch. Well huh JA you think if we had a Manning we would be better huh? lolol

I have been knocking the QB but I do have faith in Kyle to run this team, I feel he will work on his long ball over the off season as he wants to be No. 1, I truly believe this, I feel if we can get some Line blocking then Forte and Kyle can complement each other, another WR would help tremendously but how in the heck do we get a DE/RT/WR/DT/OG that are all tops and ready to start out of the gate, with the 18th pick? It aint gonna happen we HAVE to go Free agent as JA let the lines go for too long and now we need them all asap.

I could coach the Bears to several NFL championships. I know exactly what to do. I've been dreaming about it for decades. I just can't figure out how to get the job.

We all keep wanting a WR but we drafted a WR last year, 3rd round is way too high not to play a guy once all year and now we are all saying draft/buy a WR.

Earle Bennett:
Named first team All-Southeastern Conference by coaches for second consecutive seasons... Recipient of team's postseason Most Valuable Receiver Award.. over 1,000 yds receiving

How does he not get on the field with the way our WR were dropping the ball and now we need another WR? I can not believe Davis was better than Bennet, or Loyd who was siting with an injury could not have Bennet come in for a few plays a game in his place. The Coaches are obviously keeping something from the fans. Injury? Drugs? Attitude? Ability?
It has to be something. Forte and Harrison started this year so why not Bennet?

The problem with Orton is touch on his throws over defenders. He does a good job on his line of sight throws and he tends to not make critical mistakes. The WR have trouble getting seperation because 6 games into the season defenses adjusted and began playing under the WR. If the QB can hit some long throws over the defense the defenders can't just play under.

Orton might continue to improve, but I can't remember any QB's who developed the long throw at this point of their career.

Hopefully JA will concentrate on linemen in the first 2 rds of the draft and then look at WR, RB, FS. If he rebuilds the lines when they change coaches in 2 yrs it won't be such a long rebuilding process. I really like Lovie, but it became clear this year that he has not built a staff of people who make adjustments well.

Most of the cures are in house just out of position. A REAL WR is needed. Move Harris to DE to take advantage of his quickness get him out of the middle of the line let him work in space. Move Urlacher to the outside once again getting his speed into space. Move Tillman to free safety to take advantage of his playmaking skills and get the young corners on the field. These simple moves and a focused draft for some very large linemen on both sides of the ball and a quality backup for Forte would add 2-3 wins next season.

Free agency will be what we need to have immediate impact at the WR position. We cannot expect a rookie to come in and play at a level we need. TJ is the best option, unless the Cards let Boldin go. But priority #1 and #2 are still as simple as they were when JA took the job. We need to get better at pressuring with the front 4, and protecting with our front 5 in the passing game.

Williams is the LT next year, no doubt, but outside of Kreutz, who may be thinking about hanging it up for all we know, none of the other positions are locked in. Beekman looked better as the season wore on, but is probably better suited to either center or the right side. Garza is a doormat, and gets pushed around by everybody, and Tait and St. Clair look like they are moving their feet through wet cement on passing downs. Guys that are on the roster that have a shot to contribute:

Dan Buenning--was one of the better young guards in the league before he got hurt. How did he not get on the field this year? He should be the left guard next year, or at least get a legit chance to win the job.
Chester Addams--could be a good run blocker, but probably not much of a pass blocker
John St. Clair--maybe his best position is guard
Cody Balogh--time to see if he is too slow-footed to play RT. Give him a chance in the offseason program and training camp
Terrence Metcalf--still on the roster with an extension. Maybe he can finally put it together on the right side as a guard

Tait should be cut as his contract is up after next year, so we would not get any cap hit going forward. Fred Miller will not be back...We need at least 1 OL in the draft, preferably a RT, and could probably use a couple of undrafted free agents to try out in camp.

Defensive line is a mess as well. Alex Brown is the only DE carrying his weight, and he will never be a 10 sack guy. He will continue to play well against the run and the pass, and we should keep him around unless someone comes looking for him with a great offer. Ogunleye needs to be cut, as he has not come close to performing at his salary level. We can better spend that money attempting to lure Peppers to Chicago. Maybe Brown would be a better LE than right end because of his strength, but who knows? Anderson needs to show some serious improvement or lose his roster spot. The DT rotation is solid, as long as Dvoracek is not part of it next season. Adams, Harris, Idonije, Harrison, and Toeaina in the mix is pretty solid. But we need a splash at DE, and whether that is a 1st round draft pick, or a top free agent (or both), we need a big-time improvement there. Tommie needs to get healthy, and the ends need to press for double-digits on both sides.

We gain a lot of cap relief this offseason now that the accelerated signing bonus hits of Ricky Manning, Muhammed, Miller, Griese, Benson, and Archuleta are coming off the books. We could gain even more by letting Vasher, Ogunleye, and Tait find employment elsewhere. Vasher has been awful since signing his new deal, and has been hurt more than he has been healthy on top of it. Graham, Bowman, Tillman (who was bad this year, but only played with one arm for most of it), McBride, and D. Manning is a solid 5 deep group, and with a better pass rush, they could be very good. We need a safety, but there is no reason to spend a first rounder on one. There aren't many in free agency coming around, so maybe a second or third round choice would do it.

After the line improvement, we need better play out of the SLB, FS, WR, and QB positions. Orton has the ability to get better, and quite frankly, the offensive line shoulders a lot of the blame for his lack of development down the stretch. He had no time to throw, and had to stare down a receiver, because none of them could get open. Booker needs to go, Davis needs to go, and Lloyd needs to stay healthy, which would allow him to be a solid target for Orton. They seemed to develop a nice chemistry early in the year, and Kyle trusted him to make plays. Hass isn't coming back, so your only other guys are Hester, Bennett, and Rideau. So TJ Houshmanzadeh would be a great add, giving you a 1-2 punch of Housh and Hester, with Devin moving into the slot in 3WR sets. We are not going to get a stud WR in the draft, and certainly not in the second or third round, so free agency makes the most sense to make the big splash. Speaking of which, did anyone see Marcus Monk in the basketball highlights the other night for Arkansas? Looks like the knee is all better. Maybe we should bring him back for another tryout in April after March Madness gets done...Could be that big receiver for the red zone we have been lacking since Marcus Robinson left....

That list also includes Brian Urlacher, who Angelo said "still has enough to make a Pro Bowl."

You want to believe Angelo meant every kind, eyebrow-raising word about the Bears franchise player who clearly appears to be in decline. But a cynic might wonder if Angelo's public remark about Urlacher also served a bigger purpose in trying to increase the linebacker's trade value.

Dangling Urlacher as trade bait would take the Bears down an unusual, unpredictable off-season path.---Chicago Tribune

Anyone else believe this guy? Or is he just blowing steam?

Randy, I'd like to see the Bears sign another receiver also, because I think a team needs at least three legit receivers. Hopefully it will be Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and maybe a free agent signing. I like how Hester came on toward the end of the season, especially when they took him off the kick return team, I think he will only continue to get better next season.

As far as Earl Bennett, I look for big things out of the second year receiver from Vanderbilt. Bennett was a great college receiver, who set the SEC record for receptions, and in only three seasons. The best thing about Bennett is his ability to get separation, and in the SEC against SEC corners, this is key. If Bennett can carry this over to the pro game, watch out. Chicago needs a receiver that can get separation, especially vs teams like Green Bay, and their type of corners with their physical play. Bennett might have needed another year in college, maybe not, who knows? But a lot of rookies, especially receivers, don't usually contribute as rookies. I know Bennett never even caught a single ball, but a lot of pretty good receivers were non factors their rookie season, players like, Chris Carter who only had 5 catches as a rookie, TJ Houshmandzadeh who a lot of us want the Bears to sign, only had 9 catches as a rookie, Hines Ward only had 15 as a rookie, and Derrick Mason only had 14 as a rookie, just a few examples. Like I was saying, "rookies receivers are usually non-factors." Also, not just receivers, but I could go on all day naming players at other positions who were non factors as rookies. One example, on this very Bear team is our own Josh Beekman, the Bears starting left guard, who I know broke into the lineup because of an injury to Terrance Metcalf, but give be a break, Metcalf goes down every season, so Beekman was gonna get his chance either way. Besides, a lot of players get their first shot because of an injury to a player in front of them. Anyways, Beekman never seen the field as a rookie at guard, and he came on just fine in his second season, again, not every rookie is NFL ready. I think Bennett will surprise a lot of fans much like Beekman did in his second season GO BEARS!!

Kyle Orton is a good second string quarterback, no more than that. If the Bears had a No. 1 defense and top running game, he'd be sufficient to win a championship with, but that's not the way to build a consistent contender, as one can see by the NFL history of the past 20-30 years. Orton is very inaccurate throwing deep passes and that's not going to change. He has a good attitude and work ethic, and seems to be a good leader, but he's never going to be more than just competent.

As to offensive line changes, assuming Chris Williams is capable of starting at left tackle next season, the Bears clearly need to move John St. Clair to left guard, where he excelled at the end of last season. That would fix the entire left side of the line, as it would finally put a big guard next to Olin Kreutz, which he needs. Notice how Kreutz hasn't been very good since Ruben Brown was injured and eventually left? The Bears still need to draft some top offensive linemen, as their line is getting old, but the change I mentioned would buy them a couple of years.

The bigger problem, though, is how to fix this defense. Only Baltimore spends as much on defense proportionately as the Bears, and their defense is MUCH better. The Bears need to spend more on offense, but they also need to get a lot more out of the players they have on defense, because they're spending so much money on them. There's no way for the Bears to be successful spending most of their money on defense unless the defense is a top one. As I said, Lovie Smith's conservative attitude and passive style of defense has this unit playing back on its heels in fear of big plays against it, which is never a formula for success.

Smith also has the erroneous attitude that size is overrated on the lines, which is ridiculous. Sure, a lineman who's quick is better than one who's not ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL, but if you don't have some beef on the line teams will shred you up the middle and run over you in general, which is what happens to the Bears all too often unless Mike Brown is healthy and playing strong safety. But a defense that relies on a safety to stop the run is not going to consistently be a good run defense (see Indianapolis).

I know the Bears are too cheap to do it, but if they really want to win they should talk Bill Cowher out of retirement and fire Lovie Smith. I can't see Smith ever building consistent contenders -- or even any more contenders -- with his overly conservative attitude and fear of big plays against.

About Brian Urlacher: He's very good at what he does, which is being able to cover a lot of ground for his size. However, he's clearly lost a step or so, and he was never the run-stuffer type middle linebacker that I would build a defense around. Someone told me that Ray Lewis is going to be a free agent after the season ends. I'd trade Urlacher for Lewis in a hearbeat, not that Baltimore would do that or that Lewis fits into Lovie Smith's lame defensive scheme. But that's the direction the Bears should go if they want to build a strong defense that is consistently tops over the years.

As I said in my previous post, a lot of deep-seated problems here. Without a change of head coaches and either someone to evaluate college offensive talent or a new general manager, I don't see how the Bears even have a chance of getting back to the Super Bowl.

Wrigley you make a good point about the OL. They are small. The Bears have done this because they want quick pulling and trapping linemen. That's why it's so frustrating to see them try and run straight ahead at the goal line against the William's of Minn. It's like they are schizophrenic. They build a line for one type of offense and then in key situations they try and run a power game.

I think the rebuilding will be on the lines and in trying to find LB's that can blitz. The defense would probably see a big upgrade if they had a fast weakside LB that could get to the QB.

I don't see the top DE's dropping to the Bears in the 1st rd so my pick would be Robinson OG from Oklahoma. Put him at RG, move St Clair to LG and the OL just got big.

First, fire Babich. That should have been done already. And while you're at it fire the D-Line coach, he sucks.

Second, as far as Jerry Angelo making trades ... why would ANYONE want that??? This is a guy who's traded away a Pro-Bowl running back and safety in the last two years. It wasn't until Forte was drafted that Chicago finally had someone to replace Thomas Jones. Chicago is STILL looking for a safety to replace Chris Harris.

Third, for those clamoring for Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas, etc. ... please tell me how many NFL teams have guys like that? The same people say Turner sucks (he can), our o-line sucks (it does), and our receiving corp is a joke (it is) and in the next farking breath say Kyle Orton sucks. It never ceases to amaze me. Do you think Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or even Donovan McNabb would want to come to Chicago and play on this offense that has two descent tight ends, a good RB, and no further weapons???

My third point brings me to the rest of my points:

1. Get a tackle. John Tait is not getting any younger. Chris Williams is probably a bust (given Angelo's track record). John St. Clair is a terrible tackle ... but an above-average guard. This is worth paying big bucks in free agency.

2. Get a Wide Receiver. Beg, borrow, steal, trade, draft whatever. Get a LEGITIMATE wide receiver and suddenly Devin Hester becomes a impact player, Olsen and Clark become more dominating, Forte gets better, Orton gets better ... Chicago has not had a wide out that defenses respect since I can remember. A true #1 wide out makes this offense lefitmate ... as long as the o-line is solidified first of course.

3. Get a safety. You CANNOT run a cover-2 scheme without a good safety. This can be through the draft or free agency but this is a MUST.

4. Start looking for replacements. Brian Urlacher, Olin Kreutz, and John Tait all need heir apparents. I would love to see Chicago go after a guy like USC's Ray Maualuga but of course that would be if we filled those 3 positions above through free agency. Chicago could move Briggs to strong side, move Urlacher to weak side, and use Maualuga in the middle ... I know, daydreaming.

So in summary ... FIRE BABICH.

Da Church of Da Coach,

You got some great points however..........

The summary should read fire Babich and Lovie and Angelo. Angelo has a very poor history record of drafting good players in the first and second round. His hands were tied when he first arrived in Chicago but took full control of the draft in 2004.
Just take a good look at what we got from 2004 till today..

Tell me how many impact players did Angelo draft whether they are starters or not? How many were either allowed to leave or were shown the door?
How about the decision to let our starting running back go in lew of Cedric Bensen that had not proven himself yet...and then we needed a running back that year and suffered for it. Or how about letting Barien go. He may not have been worth the bucks but look at the end result, we help catapult our competitor, the vikes and they are now in the playoffs and we are not. so how much is he worth now?
Angelo is not suppose to make these mistakes. that is why he gets paid the big bucks. Who did we let go of on special teams after last year? Give you a hint...he was a pro-bowler and is one this year with a new team. Now tell me how well we did (for the whole year) on special teams...especially returns for a touchdown or real good field position in comparison to the year before?
The Bears should not be a training ground for would-be managers or want-to-be coaches.
Now how many games did we loose this year due to bad coaching decisions both on defense and offense? How many players were not good enough to play for the Bears but seemed to have found a home elsewhere ...or for some odd reason...after drafting these players, our coaching staff could not coach them? Is it the player or the inability to coach?
I then entire staff (except for the one coach that shows he can coach...special teams).
If you keep the current coaching staff, you will continue to see the same. Babich was promoted because he is a buddy of Lovie and will do exactly as Lovie says. Replace him and you will have the same. The biggest reason the ron rivera was fired was because he didn't like Lovie's defensive schemes (namely...the cover-2 or...what I call preventative defense). Ironically, that is the last time our defense was strong. It has been downhill since then and nothing but a bunch of excuses from the 2 stooges at the top, namely angelo and lovie.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 30, 2008 8:02 PM.

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