Chicago Sun-Times

Angelo calls quarterback "Achilles' heel under my watch"

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You got a better sense of where Jerry Angelo was coming from when he discussed the Bears' quarterback position just after the season when you heard him talk this morning to Mully & Hanley on the Score. The general manager was as frank as he can be on the matter.

"That has been our Achilles' heel under my watch,'' he said. ``And that's something that I'm obviously sensitive to and want to make sure that we're staying focused on it.''

What's interesting here is that is about as candid as Angelo has ever been in regards to the shortcomings and utter failures the Bears have experienced at the position since he took over in 2001. Other than a first-round pick used on Rex Grossman in 2003, the Bears have tried to do it with late-round draft picks, castoffs and never-could-bes. It's been a maddening process, one he's escaped only for a first-half run by Orton this past year and a first-half stretch by Grossman in 2006. It hasn't been so much a hunt for a quarterback as it's been a wild goose chase or mission impossible.

Kyle Orton remains the starter for 2009 but Angelo didn't rule out anything after the club holds internal meetings that will commence following the Senior Bowl. Angelo is behind Orton and there's a belief that with an entire offseason of work as the No. 1, instead of splitting work with Grossman, he will be improved. It's worth noting that Angelo also said he likes Caleb Hanie, reason enough to believe he could be in the mix for the No. 2 job in the right scenario. But it's unrealistic to consider something big could be coming at quarterback when you review the names available in free agency and the Bears' position at No. 18 in the first round of the draft. Yes, this team is committed to winning with Orton but Angelo isn't going to act like the position is solved. Not now anyway.

"What's been stated by our coaches, Lovie [Smith], Ron [Turner], in particular, I echoed the same feelings for Kyle in terms of believing in him, looking at him with the arrow going up,'' he said. "My vantage point in terms of where I was coming from when I spoke at the end of the season was, we still need to get that position solidified in terms of overall performance on a consistent basis. We were unable to do that last year.

"Kyle started out very well, got a bit of an injury, and that played a part in a not-so-good second half of the season. Until we get that position solidified in terms of winning football, week in and week out, it's going to be tough for us as a football team, particularly as an offense.''

It's his belief the building process begins with the quarterback and not the parts around the passer.

"I was hearing talk again about the wide receiver position, a few years ago it was the tight end, it's the running backs, it's the offensive line," he said. "That's all true. We need to look at every position on offense, try to upgrade whatever we need to do. But we have to stay focused on the quarterback position. You win because of the quarterback. It's not other positions that manufacture the quarterback. And I hear this term `manageable quarterback,' he manages the game. Yes, I understand that but in the end, and we all know this, at some point in the game the quarterback has to make plays to win the game. That's the bottom line.

"We're going to see what options are out there, if there are any, and we will discuss everything. If we want to potentially create competition and, or bring in a veteran to give us somebody in the building that we feel can help Kyle, or whatever. I can't sit here and say definitively what we're going to do. I know right now what we have and I feel good about that. I do feel good about Kyle, I feel good about Caleb Hanie and I want to make sure everyone understands that. But I want to make sure we look at every option that we potentially have to make sure that we're the best going forward at that position in the offseason."

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15 Comments

I like Kyle, Kyle is our QB. I just wish we could soup up the OL and get the fellar some WRs, then he'd be set. Go Bears!

If QB is "our Achilles' heel under my watch." then I guess WR is the "brain embolism", Benson was the "ruptured spleen", OL is the fractured, "arthritic spine" and coaching is the "ediema'd heart" under Angelo's watch. I would think your qualifications for being a diagnostician might be considered a tad lacking Jerula...

Calieb Hanie is our qb. of the future

Thats right Angelo, admit your guilt and make your peace with Bears fans, your days are numbered you and your Tampa Bay Bears staff.

lololol
roflmao Rance!

All I know is I am SICK of this team losing every year. But this year it wasn't the losses it was the way we lost, the Atlanta Blunder, The Green Bay Mauling, The 4 downs no TD, The dropped passes, the way Hester looked scared on returns, what a bad team attitude!
Maybe Sapp can come in and be a team leader cause we sure need that!
I just do not understand JA bashing Kyle after the way the Defense stunk it up. Wow! After he gave the Defense all that money - he says it was the QB? Woah thats got to help team morale.
Yeah, ok Jerry - better not have ANOTHER QB competition after the way that last one worked out, hearing it from you.

Anonymous:

You are completely right on, the team stinks and it was the way that this team lost that stinks the most.

This years team has no excuses, they absolutely should have been in the playoffs with a 11-5 record at the worst. The coaching was pathetic, the attitude and effort was pathetic.

The fish stinks from the head and it starts with Angelo and Lovie, it is truly disheartening for true Bears fans to continue year after year and bleed for the BEARS.

McCaskey's you have to give something back, When? When? When?

After watching this years Bears I have just finished throwing up blood.

Jerry angelo needs to go we dont need a quarterback we need recievers. How do you watch your football team that many years and dont know what you need the bears need to get rid of brandon loyd marty booker and rasheid davis they did nothing but drop balls and couldnt get seperation all year thats not the kyle ortens fault. Our defense played terrible on the pass all year tillman, mcbride,. graham played to far of the receviers on third an short vasher stayed hurt most of the year again and why doesnt the defense blitz more you would think they would since the defensive line couldnt get to the quarterback at all this year so we need a consistent offensive weapon period ITS NOT THE QUARTERBACK. Our entire offense is ran through matte forte at least 85 percent of it anyway but he want last long if it continues to go that way

Another year of frustration ends. Lots of problems, but few solutions forthcoming. Angelo and Co. covering they're butts. Same old excuses for their failings. Being a Bear fan has become an annual masochistic experience. These people couldn't manage an ant farm. No decent QB prospects coming through the draft. No decent QB available through FA. Sooooo frustrating!!! I'm so tired of seeing that stupid look on the QB's face after countless 3 and outs (Orton or Grossman); you know, like a lost puppy; a deer in the headlights! Bring in a QB that cares about winning or losing. Talk about a lack of passion for the game. It begins and ends with the QB. You can't win if you can't score!!! I'm hoping through some miracle that Caleb Hanie gets a shot, but he won't because they'll have to give Orton 3 more years to prove he's not the messiah. It's not an accident that the history of the QB position in Chicago is a standing joke in the NFL. These people are not good judges of TALENT. Combine that with the tightwad McCaskey mentality and you have an annual recipe for failure. Clean house like the Glazer's did in Tampa!!! Shanahan's available to fill 2 positions. It's perfect timing. He would demand performance from his players or give them the boot, and that's how it's supposed to be. It's a business. Treat it like one!!! The defense was a failure, in my opinion, beause of poor coaching and play calling. When was #54 converted to cornerback? I never saw or heard any announcements or press conferences confirming it. Yet week in and week out I witnessed #54 in pass coverage and seeing his frustration as another pass was completed, usually a 10+ yard completion for a 1st down. It was absolutely sickening to witness that scenario all season long. I don't know who is more stubborn. Lovie, Babich or Angelo. Jeez, maybe Ted Phillips is the meathead for keeping people like this. None of this will change until you clean house.

"How do you watch your football team that many years and dont know what you need the bears need to get rid of brandon loyd marty booker and rasheid davis they did nothing but drop balls and couldnt get seperation all year thats not the kyle ortens fault."

-Van

First of all, how how do you watch a football team for so many years and not know the correct spelling of the quarterback's name?
Fine dude, you get rid of those WRs and who takes their place? Last year we let Berrian walk and cut Moose because they weren't good enough for the Bears. Guess what? Their replacements were even worse! So unless we know someone better's coming in, you can't just cut people left and right. Personally, I think Lloyd should be re-signed because he didn't drop a lot of balls as you say. In fact, he made some great catches and helped Orton out a ton. If we don't bring him back, he'll probably get picked up by the Patriots or Packers.

"and why doesnt the defense blitz more you would think they would since the defensive line couldnt get to the quarterback at all this year" -same guy

We blitzed the most out of any team in the league.

"These people couldn't manage an ant farm." -bearmaniac

LOL! I can see it now: There's a hole in the tank, the dirt is spilling out, and instead of patching up the hole Angelo says, "It all begins with the queen ant."

Actually bearmaniac had a good point in Ted Phillips - clean house, couldn't agree more, and start with the McCaskey's selling the team would be a good thing.
But I really want to see who JA brings in this year as Free Agents, as that will tell how much the McCaskey's/Phillips/Angelo want to go to the Super Bowl. This years Free Agent deals will tell it all!

Angelo kills me! For about 2 years 'Sexy Rexy' would single handedly loose games (fumbles, interseptions, run backwards when getting sacked), and each week was 'Rex is our quarterback'. 1 season as our starting QB and he's already looking elsewhere?! Sure Kyle tailed off towards the end, but he was never as bad as Grossman!! (Don't even get me started)

Move up in the draft and get a viable QB (that means 6'4 or taller and not from Florida, Jerry), and groom him. We can't keep putting band-aids on broken bones and hoping it fixes itself. Same thing goes for WR too!

Happy with Marnelli...look forward to a motivated Defense in 2009!

Man's Game!

To address a very important point Brad Biggs made, why haven't the Bears drafted a quarterback in the first round beside Rex Grossman or at least gotten a top free agent QB like Jeff Garcia when they had the chance? Answer: As I've said here numerous times, because this organization cannot stand players -- including quarterbacks -- with strong personalities. The Bear organization is still stuck in conservative pre-WW II ethics: this is a hierarchy, everyone worship George Halas AKA Mike McKaskey, and no one speak out or take credit for anything. This team would still be throwing nickels around like manhole covers re player pay if it weren't for free agency, and it's still doing so re coaches' pay (they pay Lovie Smith well, but every other coach is underpaid).

New ownership, folks, we need new ownership. Mike McKaskey doesn't know or care anywhere near enough about winning to create a consistently winning team, so we'll never get one with him as the owner. Chicago is a top market city like New York and should have consistently good teams. Any less is a failure and disappointment.

right on wrigley field bear sums it up....

I say we give Kyle Orton another shot at QB no question. With that said the WR positions will certainly have to be addressed. There are a couple ways this can be done. First option is move Greg Olsen to 2WR then search for number 1-2 WR thru free agency aggressively and see whats out there. The cubs couldnt count on mark prior or kerry wood for years to be starting impact players so lets not torture ourselves with Hester being the number 1 WR going into next season. I think given the right circumstance Hester can be a number 1 reciever but at what cost? With moving Olsen enables Clark to get more tick and also gives way to the TE of the future Kellen Davis. This guy is huge and has good hands he can definetly make more of an impact in the blocking game aswell which will help Forte in the running game. For the draft we have to draft a safety, Defensive end, WR , and a QB.Another running back to add depth then like always draft the best players. This is a solution to some question marks to put together a solid enough team to have some success. Chris Williams needs to make a positive impact right away. At this point we need to address the o-line thru free agency or via trade.

I say we give Kyle Orton another shot at QB no question. With that said the WR positions will certainly have to be addressed. There are a couple ways this can be done. First option is move Greg Olsen to 2WR then search for number 1-2 WR thru free agency aggressively and see whats out there. The cubs couldnt count on mark prior or kerry wood for years to be starting impact players so lets not torture ourselves with Hester being the number 1 WR going into next season. I think given the right circumstance Hester can be a number 1 reciever but at what cost? With moving Olsen enables Clark to get more tick and also gives way to the TE of the future Kellen Davis. This guy is huge and has good hands he can definetly make more of an impact in the blocking game aswell which will help Forte in the running game. For the draft we have to draft a safety, Defensive end, WR , and a QB.Another running back to add depth then like always draft the best players. This is a solution to some question marks to put together a solid enough team to have some success. Chris Williams needs to make a positive impact right away. At this point we need to address the o-line thru free agency or via trade.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 16, 2009 3:46 PM.

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