Chicago Sun-Times

Angelo has never forgotten Parcells' draft advice

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Bears' general manager Jerry Angelo frequently quotes personnel men he's learned from in the past, including former Raiders and Packers talent guru Ron Wolf, who he believes is deserving of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The lesson he and player personnel director Tim Ruskell are focusing on as the 2011 draft approaches is from another NFL legend, Bill Parcells.

"Parcells made the statement a long time ago when I was with New York," Angelo said during a pre-draft press conference at Halas Hall on Thursday. "He said, 'You know what I like about this draft, Jerry? Every guy that we drafted, we like. You guys like him and we like him.'

"That kind of stuck with me. That's very important because for the player to be successful, he's got to have a feel-good from everybody. It can't just be from the scouts or one coach or the averages are working against you."

Angelo has sent his scouts home for a few days before they return for the NFL Draft on April 28-30. The team's position-by-position draft board is set. When the draft begins, the goal is to find four future starters, same as in any other year. Angelo believes the odds of landing four starters increases if everyone agrees on the players chosen, which isn't always the case in NFL draft rooms.

For that reason, the communication between the coaching-and-scouting staffs is essential for a successful draft, which is why Ruskell and other Bears scouts have spent a lot of time with assistant coaches such as offensive line coach Mike Tice and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to learn what player traits are most important to them. Tice and offensive coordinator Mike Martz, for example, want to build a "wall" in front of the quarterback and therefore favor bigger linemen, which wasn't necessarily the case under former offensive coordinator Ron Turner and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.

Marinelli, on the other hand, isn't opposed to working with lineman other teams may consider too small.

"We really feel like we got on the same page in terms of what they were looking for, so when we went out as scouts, we were able to nail it," Ruskell said of the days when he, Angelo and Marinelli had similar roles with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "We were looking at players that the rest of the league really didn't, that wasn't their No. 1 choice."

Making sure scouts and assistants are on the same page doesn't mean there's no room for disagreements, which Angelo considers healthy.

"We had a sign in the draft room for all of us to look at," Angelo said. "It said, 'If everybody's thinking alike, there's not much thinking going on.'

"The goal isn't to get people to patronize your thinking. The goal is to stimulate your thinking, get honest opinions, independent thinking, but obviously based on research. We're not poll takers. We feel good about that. And we've been together a long time. I think the commonality with [coach] Lovie [Smith] and, as Tim said, with Rod, helps."

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4 Comments

Good stuff Neil. I agree about Ron Wolf being deserving of a spot in the Hall, he was one of the better personnel guys the league has ever seen. I bet the New York Jets wish they could go back to 1991 and take Wolf's advice about going with a kid named Brett Farve vs the player they went with at QB....Browning Nagel? I bet a lot of you never even heard of Browning Nagel, theres a reason.

As far as Mike Tice and wanting to build a wall out of the offensive line goes, a great start would be landing Colorado's 6-8 tackle Nate Solder, if Chicago has to trade up a couple spots to get him, they should. Solder is the player I'd like to see Chicago land on draft day. The only way they're gonna land Solder is by trading up, I doubt Solder will slip to #29. Solder is probably the best fit at tackle for what Tice and co are trying to do up front. Its gonna be interesting GO BEARS!!

Someone should have reminded Angelo about what Parcells said right before he drafted Benson, he told Angelo he did not want to be a Bear. Still drafted him though.

I think Jerry missed the rest of the conversation when Parcells began to talk about talent.

Its easy to bash these guys for drafting the wrong players but I don't think they have done that bad of a job. Drafting players is a tricky business just look around the league and see how many teams actually do a better job then the Bears. Not every team has been as lucky as the Packers in drafting and developing players, they are the exception not the norm. I like the direction the team is taking and wish them much success in the upcoming draft. GO BEARS!!!

Its easy to bash these guys for drafting the wrong players but I don't think they have done that bad of a job. Drafting players is a tricky business just look around the league and see how many teams actually do a better job then the Bears. Not every team has been as lucky as the Packers in drafting and developing players, they are the exception not the norm. I like the direction the team is taking and wish them much success in the upcoming draft. GO BEARS!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on April 22, 2011 10:43 AM.

Bears project four to six players they like in 29th spot was the previous entry in this blog.

Don't forget linebacker when discussing team's needs is the next entry in this blog.

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