INDIANAPOLIS--General manager Jerry Angelo discussed upcoming free agency and the draft in his hotel suite Saturday afternoon and urged you to be patient if you're looking for a fix in free agency.
Angelo reaffirmed what we've thought for some time, that the Bears are going to be bargain shoppers if and when they venture out into free agency. Remember, they didn't sign a single unrestricted free agent last year, choosing to pick through the discard pile of waived free agents.
A few nuggets from the talk:
*** Angelo said confirmed Saturday's report in the Sun-Times that the team has had discussions with the agent for offensive tackle John St. Clair. Angelo would like to bring him back.
*** Angelo said wide receiver Michael Crabtree could fall in the first round because he will not be able to run a 40-yard dash because of the stress fracture in his foot.
*** He said six to eight defensive linemen could be selected in the first round. He projected six to eight offensive linemen going in the first round as well as five linebackers and perhaps three quarterbacks.
*** Angelo said he's counting on coaching and attitude making the team better in 2009, specifically the defense.
*** He acknowledged the Bears have more holes to fill than in the past.
*** He said because of those holes it will allow the team to go more than a couple different ways in the first round with the 18th pick.
*** You will not be able to find an elite pass rusher at No. 18, Angelo said. Maybe a lineman with good traits, but he'll have flaws in his game.
*** Basically, Angelo put it on the players to make the defense better and admitted it will not be the unit it once was.
*** As we've previously reported, Danieal Manning will remain at nickel back. Angelo said that is where Lovie Smith wants him to be.
Check back later on for more.