Chicago Sun-Times

Angelo talks about Urlacher and possible additions

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Brian Urlacher is 100-percent healthy and ready to fully participate in offseason workouts and training camp, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said on the team's website Wednesday.

Angelo, in an interview with ChicagoBears.com senior writer Larry Mayer, also said everyone will have to wait and see how much the return of Urlacher and the addition of free agents Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna will improve the team next season.

"We'd like to think we're going to be a lot better in certain areas," Angelo said. "But until everything comes together and we start into training camp and then the season, nobody can say for sure. So I'm not going to sit here and tell you that everything is going to be great. We feel what we did in the offseason is what we needed to do. We wanted to make some major changes and there are certain areas--in particular our pass rush--that we wanted to put teeth into, and we feel we've done that. Offensively, we got two players who fit our scheme. [Tight end Brandon Manumaleuna] has familiarity with it, and [Chester Taylor] is the type of back who's done well in this scheme. We feel like we've helped ourselves on both sides of the ball. Obviously we've lost some players as well. We just have to wait and see, and see how things continue to come together. But we're very optimistic."

Angelo told Mayer he also attempted to add a veteran offensive lineman earlier this offseason, to no avail.

"We were looking at the offensive line," he said. "It's not to say that we're not comfortable with the players that we have in place right now. We have some young players that are prototypically what we're looking for. But they're young players, so we potentially were looking for another veteran to get into the mix. I'm not going to say it was a major deal, but it was something that we were looking at.

Despite the emphasis Angelo and coach Lovie Smith placed on adding a safety, and preferably a veteran, the general manager said he is satisfied with the safeties on the current roster.

"Right now we would be comfortable starting with the present cast of players at the position," he said. "Certainly it's a much talked about position. I'm talking about the safeties and the corners, and we're going to look hard at that. We did sign [cornerback] Tim Jennings, a young player with talent that has familiarity with the scheme. We looked at a veteran safety, but we felt that we wanted to pass on that. We just didn't feel the timing was right. So we'll just wait and see. Again, you're not going to field a Pro Bowler at every position, and you don't have to. The players that we presently have we feel good about. But we always want to create competition and better depth."

Angelo concluded the interview by saying the desire to develop young players such as Jarron Gilbert and Henry Melton contributed to the decision to release veteran defensive end Alex Brown.

"A lot of it had to do with the players behind him," Angelo said. "We have some good young players that need to play. We felt that to do that we needed to make the move with Alex. Alex has been a great player for us. He's had a tremendous career with the Bears. We certainly wish him nothing but the best. But in terms of us moving forward, we wanted to make some major changes to upgrade our defense. We have not played the kind of defense that we need to play and want to play here in the last several years. So the moves we've made were with that in mind."

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14 Comments

HEY LOVIE

PICK UP TED GINN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The 2010 Chicago Bears - The Fastest team on turf!!!

Ted Ginn is terrible. Do we really need another Kick Returner? Look at all the drops he had in clutch times last season. He stinks!!!

GO BEARS!!!

I think that jerry is not watching the same bears everyone in chicago is watching. Free Safety has been a open door for the past couple of years and this guy comes out and says " i like the group we have right now" your on crack! If the bears come out with the same group as last year say good bye to your jobs Jerry and lovie i guess all the stuff you have told the news papers about and i quote" we need to upgrade the safety position, thats a priority for this off season" is a lie. Just stop sugarcoating the beloved fans anymore we will respect you more .

"Despite the emphasis Angelo and coach Lovie Smith placed on adding a safety, and preferably a veteran, the general manager said he is satisfied with the safeties on the current roster ..... Right now we would be comfortable starting with the present cast of players at the position,"


Sometimes I wonder if it is arrogance or stupidity? Maybe both?

I guess what Jerry is saying, when referring to the safety position, is that he enjoys having a roster full of strong safeties (Afalava, Steltz, Payne and Manning) and one back up type free safety who couldn't get on the field last season (Bullocks). If he's being truthful than he's the ONLY ONE who is "comftorable" with our current roster of safeties. Bottom line is this, the Bears have no free safety with range and ball skills, and an offensive line which still needs another guard and possibly another tackle. The good news is that Jerry and company either make these moves prior to the season, and then start developing some of these young players who are capable of starting: (Turenne, Asiata, Gilbert, Melton) or we will be looking to get someone in here next season who can make this happen.

Ted Ginn is just another mystery, we don't need more questions!

Angelo, this better be a smokescreen, you guys have fielded these DB's for three years now and failed, even Peppers rush won't stop the quick passing game that has been eating us alive! Urlacher will help, but we need a real FS, even your players know this! Get something done or...... don't and lose your job!

Lovie, Angelo and Phillips have a secret plan for the free safety position, it is so secret that they don't even know the plan. Good luck on discovering a plan and on finding a decent free safety.

Look I hammer Angelo as much as anyone and we all know they need help at the position and the Bears know they need help at the position because they already said they needed a big upgrade at the position this off-season. But what can he say now? Peppers cost more than expected and the Bears still have a limit on the money they can spend. They can't afford Atogwa, and who else is on the market the fits the stystem and is really good? I don't think he really likes his options but he is stuck at this point. He may draft a safety in the third or 4th round but but how often have the Bears struck gold at the position in those rounds? Take a good look, Briggs is the last really good player they got in the third. Take a look at how many first year full time starters they have drafted in the third round and bellow. Briggs was the last. Angelo is stuck and now he has to say he is happy. He can't say they suck at the position because he is stuck with what he has. So he has to pump them up. It doesn't make it right but he has no other options at this point. Which in fact is his own fault. They cut Brown because they went over budget. They don't have the money to get anyone and drafting a guy which they may do is still a crap shoot. Maybe someone gets gut later on.

Tillman may still get moved one day. Now a lot of people laugh about that but you may want to check Lovie's history. Lovie often says you don't put your best corner at safety, but that actually hasn't stopped him before. Lovie in fact moved 7 time pro bowl three time all pro corner Aeneas Williams to FS while he was in St Louis. So its possible, he also rotated him between corner and FS when he first got their before making the switch full time. I don't see it in the cards for Tillman right now but if they get desperate and another corner steps up it could happen.

I Lovie it when Angelo says 100% healthy. Harris was 100% healthy last year, until he got interviewed then he was only 80%. Did Urlachers athritic back suddenly become better. Did they find a cure for arthritus? Cause my left knee sure could use it and I don't think its cool that Angelo is keeping the cure all for the Bears players. Thats BS.

Bill, this is ALL your fault. You have Jerry on speed dial, yet you haven't been giving him good advice. You should be urging him to get Glenn Earl out of retirement. Total beast!

I ran a few recent remarks through my new electronic GM-speak translator, this is what I got:

English: Olsen will be a special player for us this year, we are happy with our safeties

Angelenian: We will be trading Olsen for a veteran safety


English: Opponents will have a difficult time not being able to double Alex (Brown) with Peppers on the field

Angelenian: We are trying to trade Brown but noone seems interested so we are threatening to actually keep him (gave up after 12 days...)

Angelo is as arrogant and out of touch as Obama!

JT! DA BEARS!
The Bears still need a starting free safety and a number 1 receiver. With Peppers our defensive weakness hopefully will be minimized. However, a free safety is a must (trade, draft, buy) WE NEED ONE!

"Our plan in aquiring a free safety this offseason was a three phase plan which we feel worked out well for the organization.

Phase 1) Ignore the safety position and the secondary as a whole, and create depth in other positions.

Phase 2) Make the fans and media think that we're actively searching for a free safety, lulling them into a false sense of security. Once they realize that we're not trying to fix what's been a void in our defense over the last few years, they'll think that we don't know what we're doing...and that's where we're at right now.

Phase 3) Well, we feel that the safeties that we have now all will contribute to the overall plan of phase 3, which is the phase where I go back on what I originally said. We have three guys, I forget who they are, that will contribute to what we need contributed at the safety position next season."

Once Angelo is done with football, he should really pursue a career in politics.

My Bears are the best team ever! I will never ever root for any other team but Da Bears. I live in California now and I am proud to be an avid fan of the Bears.

I am just so hyped up when I see them play and it is being telecast out in California, never miss them for any reason at all.

Yea, Bears go for it in 2010! Have a replay of 1985 Superbowl Shuffle.

I love you all! You are the best team ever!!!!

Rosa

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on April 14, 2010 9:47 AM.

Peppers: We can be 'best' defense in league was the previous entry in this blog.

Harris thinks Idonije is sharp and versatile is the next entry in this blog.

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