Overhaul, that’s an appropriate description of what occurred to the Bears’ management staff Tuesday. General manager Jerry Angelo, gone. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz, gone. Quarterbacks coach Shane Daly, gone. The only remaining survivor is Lovie Smith. After Tuesday’s press conference it’s rather clear who wears the pants in Lake Forest, Ted Phillips is running the Chicago Bears, not George McCaskey. Let us remember that Angelo was a Phillips hire. Should we be worried?
The biggest surprise of the day was Jerry’s termination, I think people expected Martz to leave or be fired. Angelo, relieved after 11 seasons, this 8-8 season not being the best for his legacy, did accumulate 4 division titles and one Super Bowl appearance. Chairman George McCaskey spoke about needing to close a talent gap with the division-rival Packers and Lions – we have to pickup the offensive pace. Angelo had a track record of extremely poor drafts, specifically on offense, and it caught up to him. After 10 drafts, only two first-round picks even remain on the roster, and offensive linemen Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams finished the season on injured reserve. Before Matt Forte‘s success this season, Angelo had yet to have an offensive draft pick make a Pro Bowl.
Phillips said the new general manager will have one restriction: Smith, who is signed through 2013, must be the coach in 2012. Looks like the Bears not wanting to pay-out Smith saved him his job for at least another year. Phillips also said Smith will be involved in the process of hiring his new boss.
According to a league source, the Bears have some considered GM candidates in conference as well as around the league.
Packers college scouting director John Dorsey and football operations director Reggie McKenzie have both been groomed by the impressive organization. The Detroit Lions pro personnel director Sheldon White and Vikings director of player personnel George Paton are also considered strong GM candidates within the NFC states the Sun-Times.
Outside the division, the Bears are sure to discuss Bill Polian, a respected judge of talent throughout the league and was just let go by the Colts. Others popular names for GM openings include Les Snead, the director of player personnel for the Falcons, and Eric DeCosta, the director of player personnel for the Ravens.
The Chicago Bears have some rather stiff competition as they are not only team changing management, the Raiders, Rams and Colts also have vacancies.
The REAL question here is, do we trust Ted Phillips to secure and hire a successful general manager for the Bears? We will find out soon enough!