Chicago Bears Problems Start and End with GM Jerry Angelo
You can blame Mike Martz, Lovie Smith and even the players. You can say that the offensive scheme doesn't fit the personnel. You can say anything you want, but the one common denominator is GM Jerry Angelo.
Angelo hired Lovie Smith who, in turn, hired Martz. He is the one who made the shocking trade for Jay Cutler, giving up two No. 1 draft picks and Kyle Orton in the process.
Then, to the dismay of Bears fans, Angelo stubbornly has refused to build the offense around Cutler.
In short, he splurged at the quarterback position with the expectation that Cutler would turn lemons into lemonade.
While a quarterback is thought to be able to raise the level of play of the receivers around him, there is a limit to how far one can take that,
Meanwhile, the offensive line is what it is, and the quarterback cannot be fully responsible for how they play.
In other words, Angelo seemed to go into this with a faulty premise and it's biting him in the butt. What continues to amaze me is why Angelo would stick his neck out to make that trade, yet allow that neck to get chopped off continually?
He went all-in on Cutler but forgot that service and support after the sale is the key to doing good business. Where is the talent surrounding the Bears quarterback?
Who shold accept the most blame for the Bears deficiencies?
If I had made that deal, I would have done everything humanly possible to ensure that Cutler could succeed.
I would have gone out and either drafted or traded for a true No. 1 wide receiver. I would have ensured that the pass protection was solid. I would have tried to surround Cutler with enough talent and the right system so that if he did fail, it wouldn't be because I hadn't done my due diligence.
Yet to this day, Angelo insists he doesn't need an upgrade at wideout. He also foolishly insists the Bears did more than any other team to improve its offensive line.
Yes, having Gabe Carimi fall into their laps was a good thing—even though he is injured—but when you have an experiment at left tackle, you're just asking for trouble. The left tackle protects the quarterback's blind spot. That is not a place you want to roll the dice.
I realize it's one thing to say we need this guy or that guy, but it's entirely another deal to make it happen.
Every team looks for play-makers at the receiver position, and the left tackle is the glamour position, assuming there is one on the O-line.
Still, Angelo steadfastly refuses to admit that he even needs help in those places. So, for that reason alone, if I was the Bears President, I would have a philosophical difference with Angelo.
Meanwhile, an organization starts at the top, and we shouldn't allow ownership or team President Ted Phillips to escape their own responsibility for the current situation. And while I have changed my position and now feel Smith is doing a decent job as coach, he also shares in the responsibility.
But there is a difference between responsibility and accountability; and in my opinion the ultimate accountability falls on the Bears GM.
Look, Virginia McCaskey is not interested in selling the team, they are not going to fire themselves, and Phillips is lumped in so tight with ownership that he is practically a grandson.
Angelo has had a poor history of drafting players in the early rounds. Yes, he's been decent in free agency, though two of his three big acquisitions last year failed in Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna.
His acquisitions this offseason look to be busts as well. Marion Barber has yet to play a down, and from what folks in Dallas say, he may not be the explosive runner we expect him to be when he does play.
Roy Williams is a disaster. He had a poor camp, got hurt and caught no passes last Sunday. He's not on the same page with his QB.
Some of Angelo's moves have worked out well, such as Julius Peppers. But when I look at how this organization is building for the future, and decipher the things that Angelo is saying, I have a problem.
And so should you, Bears fans. After all, we pay the bills.
I just don't know what the plan is for the Bears. They seemed to be on the right track when they made their Super Bowl appearance in 2006; but since then it's seemed like they've been flying by the seat of their pants.
The organizational plan? Again, I'm just not sure except that I know it doesn't involve receivers.
The defensive core is starting to getting a bit long in the tooth. Where are the backup plans for Brian Urlacher, for example? And why can't Angelo seem to find a corner or safety despite his repeated attempts?
Charles Tillman is good, Chris Harris, when healthy, is fine. And they did bring in Major Wright. But the cast is overall questionable.
It may be time for a fresh voice to lead this team into the near future and clean up this mess.
Sure, we're less than a year removed from an appearance in the NFC Championship game, but can any of us say with certainty that this is a Super Bowl-caliber team?
The last time the Bears have had a great wideout is...well...have they ever had one? Marty Booker in 2002 is the last one to get 1,000 yards, and even he was never a true No. 1.
The days when a team can win championships with three yards and a cloud of dust are over. Oh sure, there are always outliers, but for the most part it is an offensively-led NFL now and the Bears just don't have what it takes.
It's time for Jerry to go.
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