Chicago Sun-Times

Angelo calls this team best on his watch

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Jerry Angelo said the 2010 Bears may not be the most talented team he has seen during his decade as the Bears general manager but said when he considers the intangibles it may be the best team.

"This is the best football team we've had because of the things this team had to go through," he said. "In years past, in '06, we got off to a fast start. I think we were 6-1, we had everything locked up for the most part. Our division wasn't near as tough as it was this year. But what we accomplished this year, personally, I take the most satisfaction of the years that I've been here because of how the deck was stacked against us. Again, that says a lot about our coaches, it says a lot about our players."

Angelo touched on a variety of topics during a somewhat rare question-and-answer session with the media at Halas Hall on Thursday. The one thing he didn't want to discuss anything related to far into the future, preferring instead to focus on the season that was and what the Bears have a chance to accomplish in the playoffs.

"Change is never easy but the changes we made we felt would make us better not only through personnel but our [coaching] staff as well," he said. "The rewarding --- and difficult --- thing is how fast things would come together. We felt good about everybody we brought in from players to coaches. The unknown was how quickly is it going to come to fruition? In our case, it came together pretty quickly. We didn't see it in preseason. I know a lot was made about that but you have to be realistic. With all the changes, we didn't look at that as an omen of what the season was going to be. We just knew it was going to take time and it did take some time."

Angelo said he understands why people were skeptical of the team's success after three straight non-playoff seasons.

"We lost some credibility and I'm sure some people looked at us going into the year and thought we were going to be a hopeless team and it was only a matter of time when the ship would sink," the Bears general manager said. "But we never felt that way. We knew what we had to do. We were very confident that we could get it done. We had to have some things come together for us, but we felt very strongly about our plan, about our football team.

"The one thing about this team that we had this year that maybe we haven't had in other years that we've had success is this team really came together as a team. I don't see this team as a team of great talent. I see this as a team that played well together and really responded to the adversity that every team goes through."

Fans may have lost confidence in Lovie Smith but Angelo said he never did.

"The bottom line is the bottom line," he said. "You've got to win football games, you've got to win your division. That's what creates credibility. It's not personality. It's not how I feel about anybody. That is the bottom line. And that's how credibility is. It's not a testament to your character, it's a testament to your wins and you've got to win football games and we all understand that."

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12 Comments

Best Bears team that he had nothing to do with.
They won this year in spite of his incompetence.
Angelo is the number one major sports GM who most deserves be fired--immediately.
Lovie can only work with what he's given and Jerry Anglo cannot draft or nurture talent.
Is Chris Williams a first round draft talent? Michael Haynes???
Angelo is the prime reason the Bears O-line is so bad. They only began to get better when, in Week 9, Game 8, Mike Martz finally realized how bad the offensive line was and finally began really varying the play calling.
Otherwise, with those O-line players you were just rearranging desk chairs on the Titanic.
Any success the Bears have had this year has nothing to do with Jerry Angelo.
If the Bears win the Super Bowl, they should fire him the next day.

I have seen both sides of Angelo. Bad draft Angelo. Good late pick Angelo. Bad free agent Angelo. Good free agent Angelo. He has been alot like Rex grossman. Good Rex, Bad Rex, one of his draft picks...
With Angelo there is alot to get mad at. Then on the other side Matt Millen showed that the Bears GM is far better then the worst in the NFL. Nobody says anything about Al Davis and how he has ran that team in the ground. Truth is Angelo is a middle of the pack GM. He will do good on one end but is unsure about the offense and how to build one. Heck he came in as a rookie GM and I see it he has done a fair job. Hopefully he can look back on those years and understands his mistakes maybe the 2011 Bears will be much of a joy to watch. The Bears keep winning I have no problem with this group of personal.

Ahhh Brando it's good to know how you rate your GM's. "Is he better than Millen?" "We'll take him."

His drafting still sucks the Bears got better because of Peppers and Urlacher. Not hard to spot Peppers in FA. Jennings was a good find though. Angelo is a total meat head but as long as he is better than Millen your happy. Hahaha way to set the bar. Angelo is better than the worst GM of the worst team in football history and this makes you happy. I really do think your a Packer fan you know that right? And it's things like this that make me think it. What's next you going to tell everyone that going to the playoff's once every 4 years is true feat of greatness?

As Angelo would say quit being a Windmill (I think he meant windsock) but who knows. It's a year where the Bears faced 3 third string QB's watched the Vikings implode, got Julius Peppers, played and imploding Cowboys team, and sit in a confrence where 7-9 is good enough to make the playoffs. Oh yeah the deck is stacked against you. The Packers had 17 starter maybe even more playced on the injury list. Dude the entire season bent over for you and took it and he thinks the deck was stacked.

"Fans may have lost confidence in Lovie Smith but Angelo said he never did."

Right you do remember you made him stop being the DC after last year. Or the big press confrence with the holy trinity looking down from above over the three stooges?

You know Neil you forgot to mention while Angelo said it wasn't the most talented team he has been with that he said it actually was the most talented team he has been with as well.

Brando, the hatred in your post toward Matt Millen was HORRIBLE. You don't knock a HOF GM like that. Millen didn't destroy a ball club. He added mystery and excitement to the NFL.

I am still on the fence about Angelo. I think they should hire someone else to just to oversee college scouting. Angelo can run the free agency part, and run the rest of the team.

Until this year, he was too in love with his draft picks. He stuck with them too long when they obviously sucked.

The team must draft better if they are to become contenders every year. Pittsburg, Baltimore, New England, and Green Bay come to mind. A down year for those teams is at worst 7-9 or 8-8. Then they retool, and are good the following year. Pick one of those teams, and you can name more impact players that they drafted than you have fingers.

I am glad they are winning this year. But I fear they are a 1 year wonder again, unless they get a good draft class for next year. I am talking 4 starters, and at least one pro-bowler. 2 of those starters must be offensive lineman.And they can't just be starters. They have to actually be good at football.

Kreutz has maybe one year left. Urlacher 2 years. Peppers has maybe 3.Tillman and Briggs aren't spring chickens anymore either.

I like Knox, Wright, Olsen, and Bowman. But they are not clear cut starters for every team in the NFL.

The good of Angelo? He got us a real quarterback. That goes a long way. Cutler is, without a doubt, the 2nd or 3rd best quarterback in Bear's history behind Luckman and maybe McMahon. If Angelo can get an average offensive line, Cutler will be even better.

Joe | January 6, 2011 2:42 PM | Reply
"Best Bears team that he had nothing to do with."

Wow, really? You mean when he brought in Cutler one year and Peppers the next, the two players who have most impacted this team on their respective sides of the ball, that Angelo had nothing to do with any of this team's success? Dude, you have to lay off the stupid pills.

No general manager in the history of the NFL has a perfect record and none ever will. Like he said, its all about wins and loses. Check the record and compared it to other general manager-coach tandems. These guys have produced for the Bears, even without a franchise quarterback. They are one of the best tandems the organization has ever had. Ditka with mostly Jim Fink's players only played in and won one Super Bowl. The Smith-Angelo tandem is not done yet. Only time will tell how good the can really be. Go Bears!!!

Joe,

Pay no mind to Mikey. It was only this past year that he learned the difference between the point and laces on a football. {he has yet to thank me for that.}

The Cutler trade on the surface was a good move. My question {based on Angelo's track record with trades} has always been this: Are the 2 first round picks he gave up, what a more savy, smarter, gifted GM would have given up for Cutler? Just because the Broncos say they will take offers of 2 first round picks, doesn't mean you have to pony them up. And with Cutler openly wanting a trade and saying he wouldn't play for McDaniels, how much total leverage did the Broncos have?

As for Peppers, at least we know Mikey can read media reports. really Mikey? He impacted the defensive side of the ball the most this year? Even in the 5 game stretch where he registered no sacks and couldn't find the QB with a search party? Or you mean against the Redskins when in the first quarter when the Skins were marching down the field, Peppers was "sucking wind" on the sideline down on 1 knee? I could see late in the 2nd quarter or something like that, but midway through the first quarter? Or how about the several games when even the announcers have said something like, "you know what name we haven't mentioned at all today?" and the other guy in the booth says "Peppers." You know what has turned the defense around, Mikey? I broke this down for your buddy Kevin last week and for you I will do the same.

#1. The relatively great health of Urlacher and Brigss, and the "refreshed Urlacher having a very good-great year.
#2. Some stability in the safety position.
#3. The emergence of Melton and Idonije {who has been on the team for a number of years gaining weight, losing weight, and being moved all over.}
#4. The maturity of Cutler who has cut his INT's down by almost half thus not putting the defense back out on the field as much or putting them back on the field right after they had just come off.
#5. Playing roughly 42% of your defensive snaps against 2nd and 3rd string QB's, a winless team in early Nov, and a team that had quit on their HC.

Since everyone wants to compare this defense with 06, go look at the numbers of Pepper vs. Alex Brown. And remember, I was not one of the people pining away for AB when the Bear's cut him. But go look at the numbers. Very similar excpet Brown had him in recovered fumbles and number of tackles. The sacks were off by 1.

As for great HC/GM tandems...wow, bearshaters...get your facts straight. there were just as many Vainisi players with Ditka as there was Finks. And Finks was over rated. Vainisi brought in McMahon, not Finks. Finks got his nicotine stained panties in a bunch when the old man hired Ditka without consulting him and Finks then left. Vainisi was fired before the 87 draft. Look at the players he drafted in just 5 years. All you need to know about Finks is that in the 79 Draft, Vainisi {as the assistant GM} wanted Montana in the 3rd round and Finks said they would take him. Instead when the pick came up, he took Willie McClendon.

82: McMahon, Wrightman, Gentry, Becker, Waechter.
83: Covert, Gault, Richardson, Duerson, Thayer, Dunsmore, Dent, Bortz, McKinnon.
84: Marshall, Rivera, Humphries, Gayle
85: Perry, Phillips, Butler, Thomas Sanders, Morrissey.
86: N. Anderson, V. Jackson, Mo. Douglass, Kozlowski.

And unlike Angelo, the Bears of the mid 80's were constantly drafting at the bottom the the first round. The audacity of the above "suck up" to Angelo is that, just last week the Chargers were undecided if AJ Smith was coming back as their GM after the 7 year run as a successful GM there. The owner finally came out and said he would be back. Meanwhile, in fantasy land, some Bears' fans actually want the stuttering, mumbling, idiot back.

"Meanwhile, in fantasy land, some Bears' fans actually want the stuttering, mumbling, idiot back."

No Gearheadboy, I don't think any of us want to see you back here.

Mikey,

You crack me up. Oncce again, you can't refute anything, thus you go back to idiotic shots. Keep it up, momma's boy.

Yes he brought Cutler here, how much did that cost again? Not exactly a great deal for the Bears. He brought Peppers, not hard to figure out you needed a pass rusher. Not hard to figure out who the best one was. Not hard to figure out that they needed a pass rusher because Angelo has not been able to draft one in a decade and he has been trying. He also made two trades for pass rushers, those didn't work out the way he wanted either. It's also not hard to figure out that Angelo has been unable to draft a QB and that's why Cutler cost you 2 first round picks and a second, in the mean time he passed on drafting Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Instead we got Rex and Ortan among others. Not hard to figure out whos fault the O-line is, that hte Bears don't have a number 1 reciever and that Hester was never going to be a number 1. Also not hard to figure out that the two main Cogs on the defense where not drafted by Angelo, it's not a brilliant move to say hey I am offering you the most money come play for us. And Angelo can't even offer that money, he has contract limit he has to get the nodd from above.

2 self destructing teams, 3 third string QB's 1 2nd string QB, and Clausen. That's five gifts right their. The Bears lone instance of adversity this year has been the injury to Cutler in which he missed a game, and who do they get for the game he missed? The Panthers, the worst team in football.

Hey Mike if JA knew how to draft the bears would not have had to go out and get Cutler and Peppers so to give him any credit for that is totally wrong. It should have never gotten to that point. We should have known this back in the 03 draft when he passed on Suggs, Polamalu, D. Clark, and Asomugha, coould have had any of these guys and what he got instead was haynes and grossman. bearshaterstop the leagalized marijuana is california, I am all for free blog speech but at least has some common sense when you blog.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on January 6, 2011 1:51 PM.

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