No. 1 wide receiver? Safety? Defensive tackle? Pass rusher? Offensive tackle?
What's your top offseason priority?
Jerry Angelo made his known in his press gathering this morning at Halas Hall. It's the same as last year, and the year before, and the year before that, and the year before the year before that, and so on.
You guessed it, Angelo wants to make sure the Bears get the quarterback situation squared away. While he was clear that he has confidence in Kyle Orton after his second full seasons as a starter, it's not supreme confidence. Angelo made it certain Orton will have to play in the final year of his contract to earn a new deal. He'd also like to see some competition added with undrafted rookie free agent Caleb Hanie on board as the only challenge right now with Rex Grossman departing in free agency.
Here is Angelo speaking directly on the quarterback:
ARE YOU CONVINCED ORTON IS THE LONG-TERM ANSWER AT QUARTERBACK?
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.
WOULD YOU FIND A GUY TO COMPETE WITH KYLE?
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.
SO IS QUARTERBACK YOUR TOP OFFSEASON PRIORITY? WOULD THE FREE-AGENT MARKET BE SOMETHING YOU WILL BE PURSUING AGGRESSIVELY?
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.