GM Jerry Angelo Interview summary from ESPN 1000 Part II

Brett Solesky@@MidwayBearsBlogCorrespondent IApril 29, 2009

LAKE FOREST, IL - MAY 31: General manager Jerry Angelo of the Chicago Bears (R) talks with former Bear Otis Wilson during a mini-camp practice on May 31, 2008 at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In part two of the interview Bears general manager Jerry Angelo expands upon the value of some of the prospects who were drafted afterr Juaquin Iglesias.

Talking about the value of fourth round selection D.J. Moore who fell primarily because of his 5-foot-9 inch height Angelo talked about why he is such a good value. “He plays a lot taller than his height, as you know there are players in the league who play a lot taller than what they are and he is one of those players. He’s got tremendous ball skills some of the best ball skills I’ve seen since Vasher. He’s got really good leaping ability, he can go up and get the ball at it’s highest point.” Angelo definitely mentioned how Moore has first round ability but fourth round height and a lot of teams reached for players with the height because of the height of the receivers these days.

While it is true that you do like to have a CB who has good height, a player who plays taller than his height, and who has the ball skills and talent that Moore has is of equal importance.

The next question comes regarding the perceived lack of a true free safety in this draft. Silvy feels that Al Afalava is more suited for a strong safety rather than a free.

Angelo became pretty adamant in saying that they like Craig Steltz, the coaching staff feels really confident in him and feel he is the starting point for the discussion. They also brought in Josh Bullocks as another person to come in and player. It appears that Steltz is going to get the first crack at the free safety spot. Steltz leaves a lot to be desired athletically but he did prove that he is a gamer and someone that won’t give up on a play. Hopefully the learning curve is something he’s crossed in moving into his second year in the league.

Angelo went on to point out that in a one-gap scheme that the Bears utilize a safety has to be good tackler first and foremost. He has to cover his gap and help out in the running game primarily. It’s also true that the Bears’ defense was typically better when Mike Brown came up in run support and the pass defense was better when there was a better pass rush.

To understand where Jerry Angelo is coming from, yes there were blown coverages last year that led to touchdowns, but the most important aspect for the success of the defense is the pass rush first and foremost. There is no argument that can be made against a weak secondary when there was such an anemic pass rush generated by the front four. This is why the Bears drafted Gilbert and Melton to specifically better the pass rush which in turn makes the safeties better.

Yes it would be ideal to have a safety who is great in the run and a great center fielder, but those types of safeties are rare. There are not a lot of safeties in the league that have the combination of great ball skills and dynamite tackling ability in the run game.

The next question that popped was in regards to Charles Tillman being moved to safety and Brian Urlacher being moved to outside linebacker. Angelo talked about it be a possibility further into their careers but right now they’ll remain at their current positions. Tillman specifically was talked about how he was a safety coming out of college and they feel if he were to make the transition to safety he’d be an excellent safety. From what they saw of him as a kid coming out of college they felt he had corner skills so they felt they would try him there at CB and if that didn’t work out he’d be an excellent safety.

Urlacher there are no immediate plans to move him to SAM. Though Angelo expressed he could be successful just about anywhere you put him. If you moved him to tight end he could probably have an impact there.

To wrap up the interview the focus was on the receivers and Angelo feels that they like the group of receivers they have, they think they have a good balance of players with size and speed. He hopes one can emerge into the complete player the Dairy Queen referenced player with a twist and sprinkles. Right now they are going forward with the group they have and they think they’ll get good production from them.

I don’t think the words Angelo used necessarily put the receiver position at ease or into stable territory. I don’t think the rotation out there is chiseled in stone and going forward they can add to it as necessary. They are not starting camp tomorrow and don’t play a game for a few more months so things can change between now and then.

Posted in Chicago Bears Draft Tagged: 2009 NFL, 2009 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears, Chicago Bears Draft, Chicago Sports, DJ Moore, football, Henry Melton, Jerry Angelo, Johnny Knox, NFL, NFL Draft, Sports, wide receivers


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.