Chicago Sun-Times

Bears' GM Angelo takes to the airwaves, talks quarterback, Tommie Harris

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Bears general manager Jerry Angelo jumped on the air with Mully & Hanley this morning on the Score, 670-AM.

We'll break it down fully here soon, but here are some highlights:

1. He looks at Kyle Orton with the arrow pointing up. Orton started very well, injured his right ankle, and was inconsistent in the second half of the season. He wans the position "solifidied in terms of winning football week in and week out." Calls the QB position the Achilles heel under his watch.

2. Bears need to "look at every position on offense" but "you win because of the quarterback."

3. "We need to look at every option" when it comes to QB position.

4. "I do feel good about Kyle and I do feel good about Caleb Hanie and I want to make sure everyone understands that."

5. Angelo didn't rule out free agency or the draft for an upgrade at wide receiver: "I feel this, we will be fine at the receiver position. We will continue to go out and look at that position."

6. Do you need to add more to the offensive line? "We are concerned. We will be looking at that position again hard this year both in the draft and potentially in free agency. We need to continue to address that. We have some age there. We feel that it's a good group. They did a very good job. I thought [line coach] Harry [Hiestand] did a great job. We still need to bring in some quality linemen to get them in the mix and develop."

7. How does he judge Devin Hester after one year as a receiver? "As a receiver, pretty well. I watched, I think we all did, how he grew. I feel real good about that. He was durable. That was something that I wanted to see. The returns, obviously, weren't what we would have liked and certainly a bar that he set that probably no one will reach at least in my foreseeable future. We know this, he'll take another step next year. All players do. I've never seen a No. 1 receiver and a No. 1 returner. Obviously, if you have never seen something, that tells you something."

8. Joked that Warren Sapp might have something left.

9. "Tommie [Harris] played a lot of football for us last year. When I looked at plays, I believe Tommie played the third-most plays behind our two ends Alex [Brown] and Wale [Ogunleye]. I don't want there to be a misnomer that we didn't get a lot of play time from Tommie. He's very, very important to our defense."

10. "Tommie is fine. We would never have signed Tommie if we didn't think he was healthy. Tommie has had some issues physically speaking. We've worked through those. All players have something. It's not like he's isolated. That's just part of the game. We feel good about him going forward. Part of it is how we're training him and how compliant he is."

11. Will the Bears pay Harris a $6.67 million roster bonus next season? "We're going to talk about everything but I don't see any reason why we wouldn't."

12. Will you be active in free agency on defense? "We've got those big CD's crying to get out of jail. I've learned this, we just have to be patient right now in this time. We're talking prematurely. I don't want to say anything factually until we've gotten everyone's input. We have to do that correctly. The hardest thing to do is self-evaluate. We have to evaluate and base those determinations on what is broke? Is it really broke? Is it something we can repair in-house? Those aren't easy discussions. We'll come up with a plan and determine what our needs are vs. our wants and then we'l prioritize them. We'll take a few weeks to do that."

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Its hard to understand exactly what Bears GM Jerry Angelo is saying, as fans, all we can do is speculate.

For example, the comments Angelo made on the offensive line, Angelo said, "we will be looking at the position again hard this year both in the draft and potentially free agency." This tells me the Bears will draft some more linemen [as they should] this april. When Angelo said, "potentially free agency," this could mean there is someone out there that the Bears have on their radar [tackle Jordan Gross maybe] but Angelo wants to wait and see what his price tag is gonna look like. When Angelo said, "we have some age there," he probably meant right tackle John Tait, who will be an 11 year veteran next season, and a free agent after 2009. Angelo could have meant center Olin Kreutz, but Kreutz is signed through 2010, and the Bears have Josh Beekman, who many speculate the Bears are grooming to replace Kreutz. Another Angelo statement that says draft is, "we still need to bring in some quality linemen to get them in the mix and develop." Hopefully when Angelo said, "quality" this means by the 4th round in the draft at the very least. When Angelo said, "develop" that pretty much means the draft, you shouldn't have to develop free agent linemen.

Free agent wise, I say sign Panthers tackle Jordan Gross. If the Bears go the draft route for a tackle, which I think they will, John Tait will probably be the Bears right tackle while a rookie lineman develops next season, unless they cut Tait. Or the Bears might resign John St.Clair to hold the position down for a season or two while a younger lineman develops. A tackle I really like that Chicago could land in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft is, Kent state tackle Augustus Parrish. Parrish, at 6-6 310lbs, is an effective run blocker, Chicago needs this. Many scouts say Parrish is not only a great run blocker, but one of the more athletic linemen in the country, Parrish could be a second day gem, remember, the second day is now 3rd round and down, can't wait till april GO BEARS!!

How bout some WR's, I dont care what Big star they get for QB ,we could 3 of the best QB's on our team, with out any threats at the wide out spots, we're just the same O Let down Bears team. I think they should work on that. Give Kyle a chance and not tear him down, Angelo needs to support his team and make it better, but who knows, we're gonna end up like Detroit soon if we dont get it together.

Looks like OL and maybe a WR in free agency. Still have Orton's inability to throw it long, other than that Orton is a good NFL QB but certainly not a great one. Wouldn't it be nice for the Bears to one day from a galaxy not to far away find a true franchise all pro hall of fame QB.... OH no I just woke up where am I, what a wonderful dream.

I'm more than alarmed. Last year everyone correctly worried about the offensive line going into the season. We drafted Williams, but due to injury, we have no idea if he will be effective. So that need is still there and it is a job left undone. We were lucky the line held together as well as it did this year, but our dependable starters of the past are yet another year older, 31+ for 2010.

Angelo seems to be listing the OL needs as a secondary consideration. How will we evaluate and protect either our QB or our running game if the OL is porous? Realizing you can't accomplish everything in a year, my priorities for the combined draft and free agency initiative would be OL, WR, DL, and QB.

-- Russ Novak

We need a WR more than any other position. We need an established stud, not another rookie project. GO GET ANQUAN BOLDIN! You cannot expect Kyle Orton to develop into a stud quarterback without one good reciever. Hester is decent, but hes more of a Wes Welker type than a Steve Smith type. Steve Smith can position himself and catch the long ball, Hester can just run fast, long. We need a prototypical big body #1 reciever to compliment him.

And how can you pay Tommie Harris 7 Million bonus?! Did Angelo watch any of the games this year? Tommie looked awful. He sure isnt the stud from 05'. At this point hes not even Chris Zorich. I guess when you have to listen to monotone Lovie and the simple Bob Babich you cant help but play without emotion and energy.

God I hate our coaches...

Whatever the Bears do they must not for any reason go after Terrell Owens, he is a true team killer. That article in today Sun times was pathetic.

The rotten apple spoils the barrel type.

Can't work with him can't play with him!!

I would love to see Boldin (huge bucks) or Housh as the starting wideout opposite Hester.

Yes the Bears absolutely need a starting wideout but I would rather get a sharp stick in the eye than having the Bears try to pick up Owens!!

You don't start an answer with "we are concerned" if you are going to be conservative in fixing a position group like OL. That tells me that Tait is gone, Garza is on notice, and they are concerned that Olin is breaking down at this point in his career. If they are smart, they will go after Gross, but Mike Goff could be just as valuable in free agency to play RG. I think they will re-sign St. Clair because he can play 4 positions on the line, and this is a good way to use less OL on game day so you can focus on special teams. He will be the swing OL, not just the swing tackle. They could conceivably get by with 7 OL, 8 max.

We need to develop a RT, a RG, and a C for the future. Beekman is probably flagged as the guy for the center spot, but right now he is doing a decent job as the LG. Chris Williams is still an unknown, but hopefully he will justify his draft status. Hopefully working against Alex Brown in practice and at training camp will bring him up to NFL game speed....

No one is talking about Albert Haynesworth, he will be an unrestricted free agent this year. His presence alone will make the DL better. Opposing offenses will have to decide who they double team, Albert or Tommie.

This should also have the trickle down effect of making the ends better, line backers etc. Orton had plenty of opportunities to connect with a open Hester this year but could not get him the ball, arm strength and or accuracy are a big problem. With that said it wont really matter what top notch WR the Bears land unless they figure out how to improve Kyle’s arm strength and accuracy.

I am disappointed in the cronyism that we apparently saw with Lovie and Babich, Babich should go but don’t pine for Ron Rivera. This so called defensive genus Charger’s team could not 3 and out or a stop in the 3rd quarter when they needed it the most.

Looks like the Bears think coaching will fix the defense for the most part. That makes sense as brining in a high priced free agent to add to the second highest paid defense would not really be fare to the team. I am sure they will get a Saftie in the draft or free agency.

His talk on recievers was a little strange, I know he is not a fan of recievers, but last year he said he thought they would be just fine at the position and again the same thing this year. It's hard to be a passing team without decent recievers. I would have liked to have heard the Bennett issue addressed .

O-Line is interesting, seems he may think that is the biggest priority. Good for him he would be correct if that is true. Beekman seems like at interesting point, it's just a hunch but he seems to think of him as a backup for the interior line of the future or the starting center. Angelo loves guys who play more than one position. If Williams is any sign of which way the Bears are leaning Beekman may not fit there future line which explains why it took his so long to get on the field, he had to learn to pass block. The line as a whole is not a young group, St. Clair, Tait, and Olin are all in there 30's. Williams is still an unkown, bears may look for a Tackle with there first pick who can play right and left, giving themselves a bookend or a replacment in a an emergency. The kind of line the Bears develop will depend on the kind of system they want to run on offense. They do not seem to want to go with the power run game which makes sense with Williams, Forte, and Olson tabbed as the future. Looks like they could go zone or athletic like the Jets. My guess right now is they will go after a OT such as Eben Britton or an interior guy like Alex Mack who can play Center or either guard position. The second round looks like they will go for a skill position player like a WR. This may look a lot like last years draft.

As much as I agree that Q (as he is called here in the valley of the sun) would be a great addition to the Bears, Cardinals G.M. Rod Graves, a name that should ring a bell to Bears fans, said earlier this week during a radio interview that his off season priorities were : #1 Resign Kurt Warner ; and #2 A new contract for Anquan Boldin . Knowing the Bears orginization as we do, I'm sure Jerry A. will not spend the kind of $$ or draft choices nessecary to aquire Boldin. Besides, it's sunny and 75 outside, why would Q want to leave ? T.J.Housh is good, but afully long in the tooth and would only be a short term solution. Draft a WR early and hope Earl Bennet can develope quickly !! Jordan Gross in F.A. is a great move if Jerry can pull it off.

jonathan Kwiatkoski wrote:
"We need a WR more than any other position. We need an established stud, not another rookie project. GO GET ANQUAN BOLDIN!"

Sure and while were at it let's get Peyton Manning, Justin Tuck and Andre Johnson too... While you are wishing for our own personal Christmas list, I would submit mine: I want be a multi-millionaire, be as handsome as Brad Pitt and have the women begging for me. I like my request better than a mere GET BOLDIN. It is more realistic. ;)

Still you brought up something many of us have wondered about the best WR that MIGHT be available. Boldin's comments at the beginning of the year about wanted to be traded has started this whole conversation. Do I want him? Absolutely. But don't you think his request for a bigger contract had something to do with his trade request? If not, remember Lance Briggs circa 2007 & 2008. That is Boldin's best leverage besides playing well. GMs know it and agents know it. I think as fans we forget that and take every comment at its face value.

Still let's go back to your suggestion of getting Boldin. A good question.

What do you think it will cost us to get him? Answer: a lot of money and a lot of draft picks. I wrote about this yesterday on previous post. Yes, we need to upgrade the WR. But if Roy Williams who is a year younger than Boldin cost the Cowboys a late #1, a #3 and #6 than what is going to take to get Boldin who is still under a relatively cheap contract and is a better player than Roy Williams? Do we do a Ditka and trade our entire draft for one player? (BTW, among those traded picks of the 1999 NO Saints draft turned into either 3rd round picks OG Rex Tucker or WR Marty Booker and either 4th round picks OLB Warrick Holdman or Roosevelt Colvin. So be careful giving away all of those picks for one player. We got those additional picks when we traded down with the Redskins so they could Champ Bailey and two picks later we took Cade; we got extra picks in the 3rd and 4th round as well. Ooops on the first rounder and yeah to the additional picks)

I have seen people say trade Urlacher for Boldin as if that is going to happen. I say you have a better chance of hooking up with the playmate of year before a Urlacher for Boldin straight up trade happens. And if you want to make a side bet, I'm game because the odds are in my favor.

Now if you want to make a suggestion that is not pie in the sky we can talk. It is ok to be a fan, which is short for fanatic. But when you write in all caps (internet screaming) for something that is not going to happen you look more like a 2 year old with a temper tantrum.

What I heard JA say was he will go after Offensive Line in the draft and free agent HARD- Good for him! We need both. I also heard JA say that he was happy with the WR and with Hester developement as a WR, and he would continue to look at that position, which says another Marty Booker signing at WR (not sure about Bennet still). I agree that Hester is developing nicely at WR, he needs alot more balls thrown his way though to develope.
JA feels the defense can/will be fixed by the Coaches hired (Rod/Sapp etc...)- not sure about that DE in the first round guys, looks like Oline unless he goes Free Agent OL big time,
and please shut up about the Bears getting Boldin et al, the Bears aint gonna give up the frekin house people! Does Boldin play D and drive a lambo? no? well there you money for him

T.O. would HATE our QB, unless they bring Rex back to throw him the long ball hmmmm.....If we get T.O can we have another QB competition? oh yeah JA said he was gonna do that again anyway. Crap

A cornerback would shore up our most glaring weakness and either bump "roasted peanut" to nickelback or provide insurance for vashers health.angelo needs a impact free agent to save his job and a lineman would be nice. I'm glad i am not the only one who noticed Orton has no accuracy over 30 yards, missing hester for about 8 or 10 deep balls costing hesters stats. Take the third best QB in the first if you have any mercy on us qb starved fans and

At some point he has to delve into the draft again in either the 1st or 2nd rounds. Did anyone happen to notice Ryan and Flacco helped lead their teams to the playoffs? It's not a coincidence at all. This time JA has to draft a QB with measurables, tall (at least 6'3" and doesn't have any alarming red flags like Grossman did.

A team with a dominant defence and running game needs a QB with poise... the one thing a team like that can't do is come back from 2 or more interceptions... just look at how good Baltimore have looked until Flacco throws some interceptions.
I can't see Angelo going and getting Kurt Warner (and would he want to come to the Bears without a true #1 WR) but we need to get someone that isn't going to panic like Orton and Grossman have done. No mistakes football is all we need... Manning or Brady would be great but be realistic.
Similarly we are not going to get Boldin, Owens or TJ Hous. A solid possession receiver to complement the home-run-hitter Hester is enough.

Without the special teams scoring so many points for us this season our bad playcalling on offense and our lack of passion on defence has cost us games.
With luck the coaching changes will fire up the D. A premier end would help the l'backers and secondary immensely. I think our run defence did enough this year... develop the DT's we have.

Use freeagency to grab a solid WR and DE, and use the draft to get a OL, a safety, a corner and a second RB.
QB... hope and pray ;)

One final thought: I question the clubs direction in recent years - which is down to Angelo. If our O is supposed to run the ball "off the bus" why have we traded our stud rusher Thomas Jones, drafted a pass catching TE in Olsen, a pass blocking LT Williams, and then let our lone deepthreat WR go to our bitter rival Vikings.

I beleive its time for the bears to stop penny pinching and seize the opportunity to reel in a great WR in T.J. Houshmandzadeh. He is everthing you want in a number one reciver; A big time Pro Bowl WR like him would make a big difference in the Bears offence for more reasons then the obvious. I think his addition to the bears "O" would put all QB talks to rest, Kyle Orton will be the man, we have a great talent in the back field in Matt Forte and I think because of Hosh's presence there would be more running lanes for forte but the most important reason why i think the Bears should pick up Houshmandzadeh is the bears could actually cause match up problems for defences. Teams will no longer be able to double cover Devin Heaster, and with his speed he could beat some of the best DB's in the league deep at will. It would also be hard to stop the TE two headed monster (Greg olsen and desmond clark), teams would be too worried about the WR's and will leave Linebackers on them which is a mix match because the Bears TE's play like WR's, or they would have to stay in Nickel all game making the run game easier on Forte. With T.J. Houshmandzadeh at WR and a few ajustments to the O line The Bears "O" could be top 5 in the NFL.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 16, 2009 9:38 AM.

Four Down Territory, Jan. 15: Bears in prime position for compensatory draft pick(s) was the previous entry in this blog.

Angelo: Bears will pay Harris $6.67 million roster bonus is the next entry in this blog.

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