Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

03 Jan 2012

Bears Fire GM Jerry Angelo, Martz Resigns

The Chicago Bears have fired Jerry Angelo, ending his tenure as general manager after eleven seasons.

Lovie Smith will return, but is evaluating his coaching staff. Special teams coach Dave Toub is apparently on the interview list for the Dolphins head coaching job, and of course nobody expects Mike Martz to return as offensive coordinator.

UPDATE (1:06 PM CT): Well, that didn't take long. Dan Pompei of The Chicago Tribune is reporting Mike Martz has resigned as offensive coordinator over philosophical differences.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 03 Jan 2012

94 comments, Last at 13 Jan 2012, 7:46pm by wyatt

Comments

1
by Eddo :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:45pm

I like this. Angelo has done a rather poor job the past few years, particularly with the offensive line.

11
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:24pm

I like the Carimi pick but then I am biased

60
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 9:54pm

But then you have to balance that with J'Marcus Webb, Roberto Garza, Lance Louis, Chris Williams, Frank Omiyale...

2
by drobviousso :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:46pm

Do they still give any draft picks from next year to the Broncos?

12
by Marko :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:28pm

No. They didn't give any draft picks to the Broncos last year either. The last draft pick from the Cutler trade was in the 2010 draft. The final piece of compensation from the Bears to the Broncos was provided by Marion Barber this year. The Broncos can thank him and the Bears for their playoff spot and for providing the high point of Tebowmania.

The Bears have all of their draft picks this year, plus Carolina's third round pick, which they acquired in the Greg Olsen trade.

32
by John Courage (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:42pm

"The final piece of compensation from the Bears to the Broncos was provided by Marion Barber this year."

Hah! Well played sir.

3
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 12:48pm

I'm shocked that the Bears fired Angelo, but thrilled. Maybe they'll hire someone who isn't terrible at drafting.

I would hate to see Toub leave, though of course I'd be happy for him to get a head coaching job. He's done an incredible job on special teams...obviously he's had the best returner ever to work with, but even aside from Hester the Bears have been great under Toub.

48
by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:57am

it doesn't seem likely he will get the Dolphins job as Miami in typical wtf is their owner doing has competing coaching searches going on at the moment.

4
by Independent George :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 1:01pm

I'm glad they're keeping Lovie. I'm not a Bears fan, but I live in Chicago, and I've been extremely impressed with Lovie for his entire tenure here. Some of the louder fans here don't like him because he's the anti-Ditka, but it's also what makes him such an effective coach. That said, I have a hard time putting all of the draft fiascoes on Angelo's shoulders.

Losing Toub would be a huge blow, but he's earned a shot at a HC gig. I'm glad ST coaches are starting to get more visibility.

5
by Eddo :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 2:20pm

I've never been anti-Lovie, but I've really come around to a be a big pro-Lovie guy the past two years.

He's quiet and doesn't get fiery, which leads people to believe that he's confused all the time, which is a dumb inference to make.

Another big complaint is that the defense is so vanilla, even though the Bears do blitz much more frequently these days.

The players love him, and play extremely hard for him. And generally, he runs a team that stays pretty disciplined (Marion Barber-esque brainfarts are not common).

Outside of his first year (2004), rebuilding the Jauron disasters, Lovie has not lost double-digit games. Only the Patriots, Chargers, Steelers, and Giants, I believe, can make the same claim from 2005 onward. Even Lovie's bad years are respectable.

30
by JasonG (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:23pm

Angelo: Didn't love him, didn't really like, but also didn't despise him. Was excellent at managing the cap. Not as cheap as people always claim (Peppers, Urlacher, Cutler). Gets killed for draft picks and some have merit, but off the top of my head, was it his fault Dusty Dvorcek couldn't cross the street without blowing out his ACL, that Iglesius (a lauded pick) didn't pan out, that Carimi dislocated his knee. There are other clearly more indictable misses, but doesn't every GM have those. All in all, letting him go is the right move.

Lovie: As much of a fan of Singletary the player I was, I never thought he'd be a good coach. It's not about screaming. Lovie's demeanor annoys most writers and fans. I think it's great. He's even keeled, players respect him. Despite success, it's the Coughlin's of the world that appear to lose their teams. Doesn't seem to happen with Lovie's teams. The Tampa 2 they run is derided constantly, but that's a lame argument as well. First of all, they run plenty of other defensive schemes. Second, frankly it works more times than not. All the flashy gambling of the blitzing teams gets on SportsCenter. But the Bears's D is consistently well-managed, well-disciplined. It's actually a pleasure to watch. However, that brings us to his deficiencies. He doesn't adjust. Well, he didn't use to as much. Steve Smith game, seriously? You don't double him? At least this year, he let Tillman rough up Calvin Johnson. Progress I guess. The Tamps 2 has always given up plays to TEs, but then you allow Jermichael Finley to open the season with 3 TDs? He's also awful at challenges and pretty poor at clock management. All things told, I'm a fan of consistency, the Steelers model. Changing regimes every few years is no way to build a consistent winning franchise. Lovie puts more on the table than he takes off and he offers stability. I'm fully behind keeping him.

Martz: Again, pros and cons. The pass wacky stuff doesn't bother me. And when it works it doesn't bother anyone else either. It's only hindsight where people complain that he should have run more. No help to abused lineman, though? Having your star QB constantly running for his life? Inexcusable. I think the next biggest indictment (and it's Lovie and Angelo's fault as well) is the backup QB situation. I don't even have the words to explain how these men failed this team this year in their evaluation of Hanie. Overall, he's not perfect, but I think Martz should stay. They started with an awful line and lost their two best men (Carimi and Williams), had poor wideouts (Hester, drop drop drop - Knox, fall down, slip, fall down - Williams drop drop drop), lost their QB, lost their RB. I mean was Martz really the biggest culprit here? And now this under-talented offense has to scrap a system they were just starting to get and learn a whole new one? Stupid. That's just going to set them back.

31
by JasonG (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:29pm

I wonder if Tice isn't the best O-coordinator choice only in that the team can keep the "system" but Tice a) won't be as pass (and 7 step drop) wacky and b) would likely provide his QB better protection. That's the best of both worlds right? The Bears did show some run blocking ability and they can make some plays in the passing game, but with their personnel it can't be the greatest show on turf; it has to be balanced.

36
by cheer :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:14pm

How is Tice going to provide his QB with better protection? The problem with the OL wasn't scheme-based; it was talent-based.

39
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:45pm

If you have no talent, a 7-step drop scheme is a poor choice.

Similarly, I wouldn't want Chad Pennington in an Al Davis offense.

42
by JasonG (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 6:00pm

Survey says:

1) Call fewer 7-step drops
2) Help the line by leaving more players in to chip/block more often.

Two things Martz stubbornly refused to do.

43
by cheer :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 7:23pm

Fair enough. On the other hand, who's the nitwit who hired an OC that runs an offense dependent on the 7-step drop when the OL in place was a disaster?

I mean, Martz is painted as stubborn and obstinate -- and that may very well be true, but couldn't it equally be Martz saying, "Um, if you don't want me to run my offense, why the hell did you hire me?"

It'd be like trading for Aaron Rodgers and then having him run the read option.

Which brings us back to Angelo.

44
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 8:06pm

The offense isn't dependent on 7 step drops, Martz just really likes them.

As for hiring Martz himself, I believe he was the the 3rd option the Bears went to after being rejected by Jeremy Bates, and someone else I can't remember.

53
by Steve in WI :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 2:25pm

The question becomes what letting Martz run his offense means. I agree with you that expecting Martz not to be Martz is ridiculous, but I would say that his biggest flaw was that he didn't account for the personnel that the Bears had, and adjust his scheme accordingly.

What I will always hate Martz for is the Bears getting rid of Greg Olsen because Martz doesn't think the tight end should be an important pass catcher. Maybe that was a valid philosophy in the past, but not in today's NFL.

54
by tuluse :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 4:05pm

Olsen isn't very good that didn't bother me in the slightest.

45
by Duke :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 9:19pm

Also--reportedly--Martz doesn't allow audibles. Meaning that if Cutler was staring a massive blitz in your face, and had a 7-step-drop no-quick-routes play called, there was nothing he could do about it.

That's something that blew my mind when I heard it.

46
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 10:14pm

From what I understand there are no plays in the Martz play book that don't have a hot read.

However, I think a lot of them rely on the receiver and QB reading the defense the same

47
by Duke :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 2:21am

From what I understand there are no plays in the Martz play book that don't have a hot read.

From what I've seen over the past 2 years, it looked like there were. :P

Although, it seemed like Caleb Hanie didn't know what they were. :(

86
by JasonG (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 5:45pm

And Tice it is.

61
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 9:58pm

There is this little thing that annoys Bears fans a lot: constantly having to call timeouts early in the game and being left with only 1 the rest of the half.

70
by Eddo :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 1:06pm

It sure is annoying, but it's hardly a "Lovie Smith" problem. It's really more of a "most NFL coaches" problem. Watching the Red Zone Channel, I see timeouts get burned early in just about every game.

72
by cheer :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 1:32pm

And this drives me batty. Clock management is NOT complicated. I could write a frakking Android app to determine the best way to manage the clock. Why do NFL coaches have so much trouble?

73
by Independent George :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 2:20pm

Because it's easy to think about when you're sitting on the couch with a beer in your hand, but damned hard when you're on a sideline in front of 70,000 people and you've got ten other things to think about at the same time.

74
by cheer :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 3:12pm

I should think that being able to think about such things in such circumstances is part and parcel of why NFL head coaches get paid millions to stand there and do that job, and I do not. Obviously not the ONLY reason, but to suggest that clock management gets screwed up because there's a lot going on and it's a pressure situation is just silly.

Heck, couldn't you assign someone to do it for you? "Frank, stand over there and keep an eye on the clock. If we need to call a time out, or if we need to NOT call a time out, thwack me on the head with a stick. Don't let me burn a time out to decide whether to call a challenge, and don't let me forget to start running a hurry-up when we're down by two scores and there's only 3 1/2 minutes left."

Yeesh.

75
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 4:55pm

I agree with having some sort of an assistant helping with the clock management. One of the assistants should be able to take that on.

Though I do buy that the dealing with game day pressure is really only part of an NFL coaches job and I'm not sure it's even one of the 5 most important parts. Unlike most other sports football players are in practice a lot more than they are in games during the season. I know all pro athletes put a lot of prep time in, but football has one 3 hour game a week, all the other sports have at least two. The weekly prep for a successful football team is huge. Yes the assistants have a lot to do with that, but the success of the head coach is often decided on Mon - Sat. Of course that is all the more reason why clock management shouldn't be an issue, head coaches already have to delegate, prep work is a huge part of this game, prep for it!

Heck McCarthy had Aaron Rodgers calling the plays in the first half of the Detroit game that Flynn started, surely one of the players who is inactive for the day could handle clock watch and reminder duties! :)

77
by Steve in WI :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 7:10pm

Perhaps, but Lovie takes it to a whole new level. Add in questionable challenges (though I seem to recall he did better than usual this year) and a propensity to run the ball and get stuffed on 3rd-and-1 or 4th-and-1 and he's a particularly infuriating coach at times, even if he's actually pretty good (which I'd agree he is).

I can't find the exact recap now, but there was a series in the first Bears-Lions game that summed up Lovie's faults just about as well as any 5-minute stretch of time could. As I recall:

- Bears have it 3rd and short. They run the ball up the middle and gain very little if any. 4th and short.
- Lovie calls a timeout to decide what to do.
- Lovie challenges the spot of the ball.
- The call is upheld and the Bears lose another timeout.
- Lovie decides to go for it with another run up the middle, and the Bears turn it over on downs.

78
by tuluse :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 7:18pm

Runs up the middle are by far the best way to convert short yardage situations historically.

80
by cheer :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 12:43pm

Not when you have an OL that couldn't block a scarecrow.

82
by Steve in WI :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 2:02pm

Yeah...I don't have any problem with it if it works, and I agree with you that historically it's a good decision, but the Bears have been pretty bad at it in recent years.

That said, the play call was much more defensible than taking a timeout before deciding to challenge a ball spot that was almost certain to stand.

79
by Dean :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 12:15pm

Andy Reid just left you a voice mail. It said, "bitch, please."

6
by opticallog :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 2:34pm

I find the timing of this a little odd. I wouldn't consider Angelo a great GM (or a poor one). He certainly has very defined strengths and weaknesses. He's been able to build successful defenses personnel-wise to fit two different schemes, first with the Cover-2 D of the early and mid 00s, then today's more man and pressure oriented defense. But he's also consistently failed to evaluate offensive talent at nearly every position.

To me this move would have made more sense 2-3 seasons ago when the team bottomed out. Since then I feel he's recovered nicely and made a number of solid personnel decisions. I would definitely consider the Cutler and Peppers acquisitions as unqualified successes. At the time of the Cutler injury, I thought the Bears were playing like the 2nd best team in the NFC. It's unfortunate when your injuries happen to exactly the wrong people and your season gets sunk.

That said, because he's not an obviously poor GM I don't see what the Bears gain by canning him. Do they have someone solidly above average in mind to replace him?

8
by ByTor (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:07pm

First, I find it fascinating that you admit he has "consistently failed to evaluate offensive talent at nearly every position," yet say you don't consider him a poor GM. I don't understand how a GM could completely fail on one side of the ball and not be considered poor at his job.

But beyond that, the offensive line was aging and looking like it needed work the year of the Super Bowl. Five years later, the line is worse, and not just a little worse. You can't fault Angelo for Gabe Carimi or Chris Williams getting hurt, of course, but Gabe Carimi was a rookie. We've had years of an OL that was patched together by has-beens and never-weres. Lance Louis looks overmatched frequently, and Frank Omiyale couldn't stop a determined mouse.

I'm OK with letting Angelo go, but I admit I'm concerned about how they will replace him.

15
by Duke :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:36pm

You can kind of blame him for Chris Williams getting hurt--injury concerns were a big flag on him going into the draft. IIRC, the big concern was his back and also IIRC that was what kept him out his rookie season.

17
by cheer :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:39pm

Fair enough. And really that just adds to my larger point (that everyone under the sun knew the OL was a problem and Angelo ignored it for the most part).

9
by Steve in WI :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:19pm

I agree with you, of course, about Cutler and Peppers. I think Angelo's draft record is what makes him a poor GM. Without a couple of very good drafts and/or some shrewd free agent pickups, the Bears are going to be in big trouble 2-3 years from now. (And from what I'm hearing, I'm optimistic. A lot of people think next year's basically their one shot to win before the aging defense really falls apart). He's consistently failed not only at evaluating talent but at knowing what positions to fill. He still insisted that the Bears didn't need a #1 and probably a #2 wide receiver, or that they needed big upgrades on the offensive line going into this past season. (Granted, he drafted Carimi who may turn out to be a good pick - too soon to tell thanks to the injury).

There are so many obvious needs for the Bears - wide receiver, O-line, probably at least one safety, another pass rusher to complement Peppers...plus they're going to need a couple of linebackers if not this coming year then very soon - with zero potential on the roster that I think it's very hard to say that Angelo was anything more than a mediocre GM at best.

62
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:12pm

There's negative feedback going on here -- the bad draft picks, especially on the O-line, means that the O-line is constantly in need of attention while the positions that need to get younger (LBs and DBs) are neglected until it's too late. The Bears have done some decent upgrading on the D-line, but do they have any depth at LB? It seems like Urlacher and Briggs are out there on every snap. That can't continue indefinitely.

10
by jimbohead :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:20pm

bill polian perhaps?

13
by Marko :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:32pm

That's the obvious speculation and hope so far in the Chicago media. In fact, yesterday some Chicago media types were saying the Bears should fire Angelo and hire Bill Polian (actually, they would probably have to hire both Polians), but that it would never happen. Part one has happened, and now they are clamoring for part two.

19
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:41pm

Bill Polian isn't on the market. You can have Chris if you want.

23
by Marko :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:54pm

Please explain how he is not on the market. He was fired yesterday (as was Chris). Are you saying that his career is over?

26
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:11pm

I thought the explanation is that Bill is ill and won't be seeking another job.

35
by Marko :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:13pm

Where did you hear that? If that is the case, why did the Colts fire Polian rather than having him resign due to health reasons?

I read that he was in a meeting with Peyton Manning to talk about Manning's rehab and next year when he was summoned to meet with Jim Irsay, who then told him he was fired. Manning was stunned. None of that seems consistent with the idea that Polian is ill and doesn't want to work anymore.

40
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:47pm

I wonder if Irsay will make Manning the GM. He's already the de facto HC and has been the OC for years now.

34
by RichC (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:12pm

Why would you want Polian though? I understand he put together a winner in Buffalo, and put together one in Indy, but the guy hasn't had a good draft since what, 2005?

He's a good part of the reason the Colts are Peyton Manning, his neck brace, and a bunch of scrubs.

63
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:13pm

The story out of Indy is that you have to take Chris if you want Bill anyway.

7
by Jimmy :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 2:54pm

This Bears fan doesn't like this move. I remember the Wanndstedt years and McCaskey running the team into the ground, compared to those morons Angelo is a bona fide genius.

The only upside to this is if he takes his monkey (Ruskell) with him. If the Bears give Ruskell the job my head will explode.

16
by cheer :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:37pm

Not sure why you're bringing up the Wanny years.

Sure, a McCaskey is in charge. That's been true ever since Halas died. But Ted Phillips is still Team President. Plus, it's a different McCaskey. Now you can assume that all McCaskey's are bound to foul up sooner or later, but most families I've met are populated with people that are not identical.

Several years ago Mike McCaskey was kicked upstairs to the Chairman's office, and Ted Phillips was brought in to truly run the team. Phillips believed that the team needed a true GM (the first time we had one since, what, Jim Finks?), and got one.

I see no reason to think this philosophy is going to change.

Also, I'm sorry that Martz left. He made mistakes, sure, but it was nice to finally see the Bears have an imaginative offense. Hopefully we get someone else who doesn't just run a generic West Coast offense or something.

14
by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:35pm

Angelo okay bur martz jerk who needed to go. Horrivle guy Martz is. Go to college Mike Martz and necer comw back to nfl

33
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:58pm

Completely agree.

Well said

18
by justanothersteve :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:39pm

Just curious. Will Lovie be involved in the replacement GM decision? If not, it could cause some real problems.

Martz resigns over "philosophical differences"? That is too funny. I still think Martz is a really good OC as long as the HC keeps him under control. Not sure if Martz's ego wouldn't get in the way though.

22
by Marko :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:51pm

It's also curious that this is termed a resignation, as his contract was up. Maybe it's because the contract technically runs until the end of the league year or something like that. But it sounds to me like they (which I guess means Lovie and maybe Ted Phillips) decided that they wouldn't offer him a new contract and let him "resign" rather than announce that they decided to repace him as OC.

64
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:16pm

The story I heard was that the Bears were going to renew Martz's contract, but he decided to leave anyway. Is that story incorrect?

76
by dbt :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 6:51pm

Yes, that story is incorrect. Supposedly Cutler had and end of year meeting with Lovie, they agreed that Martz was done, and Lovie more or less let Martz walk away on his own terms.

25
by cheer :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:03pm

Well the Bears -- like most teams -- won't give us specifics on the decision-making process.

They may ask Lovie for his input, but if they do it's probably more a courtesy than anything else. The guy's going to be Lovie's boss, after all.

20
by Duke :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:47pm

As a Bears fan I am just shocked. Not that Angelo didn't deserve to go--it's not a clear cut case, but there's definitely enough to fire him. I'm just shocked that the Bears actually did it. It's so out of character for the organization. I guess The New McCaskey wants to change how things are done.

I'm also a bit surprised by the Martz thing. But I guess I shouldn't be. Lovie would never publicly feud with one of his coordinators, so the fact that nothing untoward was said up to this point shouldn't be surprising. The fact that he wants to change OCs shouldn't be surprising, either. Again, I'm just mostly surprised that the move was actually made.

As for replacements...I feel confident that Ruskell will go. I don't think I want Polian--much rather have the guy from GB that everyone (in Bears-land) is mentioning. Not sure if I'm ecstatic or crestfallen that Norv Turner is not available for OC. I would not be surprised to see Tice get promoted.

Whoever takes over as GM has a tricky road ahead. This team has a lot of talent and fans will want it to deliver on it, but it's also getting precariously old (especially on the defense). The team needs (IMHO) to inject some young difference-makers on the defense in the next year or two to continue their success. A good WR would also be a smart idea. I mostly think the best move for the OL is to try to develop the young guys they have rather than continue to throw draft picks at the problem, but maybe a new front office will do a better job at getting talent there.

It would have been very easy to defend this season as an okay one that just went wrong due to injuries, and hold the line together as is. Instead, the Bears are making a bold move to shake up the future. And I like that attitude. I'm not at all certain I'll like the results...

21
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:50pm

I'm really torn about this.

On one hand, Angelo has failed to add star players to the team. On the other hand, he's good at streaming out a consistent supply of player at least above replacement level.

I'm really glad they didn't fire Lovie, but isn't a new GM going to want his own coach? Is Lovie going to pick out the GM and be his boss? This makes for a trickier power structure.

Both these moves really surprise me. I figured Angelo had enough built in excuses this season to keep his job, and I'm not surprised to see Martz go, but I'm very surprised that it was his decision (maybe Lovie let him say that as a favor to his old boss). I am mildly concerned about changing schemes again on Cutler.

I guess my dream offseason now consists of bringing in Norv Turner and Vincent Jackson.

24
by Marko :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 3:57pm

No way does Lovie get to pick the GM.

27
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:15pm

I wouldn't think so either, but it puts the Bears in a precarious situation. How often does a team hire a GM without letting him pick the coach and it all works out?

28
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:16pm

Could be that upper management looked at how the team fell on such hard times when front line players went on the DL that the GM was held accountable for not making sure better backups were on the roster.

29
by ChiJeff (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 4:17pm

This was a long time coming. Since the Superbowl season the Bears offensive line has just fallen apart and Angelo has let the oline fall apart. He has not done anything to fortify the receiver position and the defense is getting old and the Bears do not have any obvious replacements for Urlacher, Briggs, Tillman or Peppers. I give him all due credit for trading for Jay Cutler and signing Julius Peppers. But building through the draft is where teams compete and win championships and Angelo has been poor in that respect.

As far as Martz goes, his firing could not have come soon enough for me. The biggest problem with Martz was his insistence on running his system knowing that he had a poor oline and recievers that had trouble getting open on a consistent basis. Cutler had to basically act like a 2year old and pitch a fit to the media before Martz even amde the changes he DID make. Martz making Cutler drop back seven steps on a consistent basis with THAT oline was just insane.
I would be pretty comfortable with Mike Tice being o cordinator.

37
by Will Allen :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:22pm

I have a huge amount of respect for Tice, and think at lot, but not all, of criticism of him as a head coach in Minnesota was dumb. If you make him o-coordinator the qb coach hire will be especially critical, and you might be taking away from the Bears what Tice contributes most, which is getting all that can be had from an o-line which is not talented. This needs to be thought out carefully.

I wonder if this is the last stop for Martz, Killer of Quarterbacks.

41
by ChiJeff (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:58pm

Duly noted Will but with Mike Tice as coordinator I have to think that Tice knows what the oline can or cannot do and I think he would be more likely to call a game based on the talents he has on hand rather than making calls based on trying to run a particular system that is ill suited to his talent base.

65
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:19pm

+1 to Will for Homer reference.

38
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 5:43pm

I'm happy with both moves, as I've been done with Angelo since the Bazuin/Okwo/Wolfe draft. I'm concerned about how the new GM will mesh with Lovie, and whether Cutler will be set back by yet another system, but overall the moves needed to be made.

If they can get Vincent Jackson in FA, and add OL, LB, and DB's in the draft, I'll be a happy camper.

49
by Jimmy :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 11:43am

If one bad draft was all it took for GMs to get canned there would be 32 teams looking for new GMs.

50
by cheer :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 12:05pm

If you think Angelo has only had one bad draft, then you haven't been paying attention.

Here's a fun game: make a list of all of the Angelo first-round picks currently with the team.

51
by Eddo :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 12:31pm

For shits and giggles...

Gabe Carimi (2011)
Chris Williams (2008)

That's it.

52
by mental :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 2:05pm

Don't you have to at least mention Jay Cutler on this list?

55
by Eddo :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 4:20pm

I see what you're getting at, but the point is that Angelo is a terrible drafter (at least in the early rounds). Trading first round picks for someone is not the same as drafting that player.

56
by RichC (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 4:58pm

Why not?

Would you consider Eli Manning a successful first rounder for the giants?

57
by tuluse :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 5:12pm

I think the reason is that they didn't have to rely on college scouting. Acquiring a player who's been the the NFL for a couple years is a different type of scouting than trying to project college players.

59
by cheer :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 5:44pm

Agreed. Trading for a guy who's been playing in the NFL for a few years is very different than evaluating someone that's never played a snap at the pro level.

My point was that Angelo has struggled in the draft, ESPECIALLY in the higher rounds.

69
by Jimmy :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 11:26am

Every time some GM trades two first round picks for a player it makes Angelo's trade look better and better.

58
by chemical burn :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 5:13pm

Way to pick a technicality to prove your point.

66
by LionInAZ (not verified) :: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:23pm

Life would be much less interesting without technicalities.

67
by Intropy :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 2:50am

Well, he's technically correct - the best kind of correct.

71
by Eddo :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 1:07pm

Do you really not see a difference between a draft-day trade and a trade for a three-year veteran?

68
by Jimmy :: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 11:25am

Columbo - still starting in the league.
Grossman - still starting in the league (yeah I know he sucks but still)
Benson - still starting
Harris - not sure if he is still starting but anyone trying to pretend he wasn't a fantastic draft pick is a moron.
Olsen - still starting.

Harris and Columbo were freak injuries that no GM could have predicted. Sometimes what can be painted as a mistake is actually bad luck, it might be tempting to assign blame but it is pointless.

92
by wyatt (not verified) :: Thu, 01/12/2012 - 2:43pm

In fairness, are those first three starter level talent? Aside from a fluke year or two, have they ever been?

As far as Harris goes, it seemed that the word from day one with him was that he was going to have knee issues. It was a question of when and not if. This is not to say that he was not a good pick, but he would have a short shelf life.

Angelo made his own bad luck by drafting numerous players in the first round with injury questions. (Harris, Williams, and possibly Carimi)

93
by tuluse :: Thu, 01/12/2012 - 4:59pm

Columbo was the starting right tackle for the Cowboys for 5 years.

Also, do you have a link to the reports that Harris's knees would be a problem? I don't remember reading anything until he actually got hurt in 2006.

94
by wyatt (not verified) :: Fri, 01/13/2012 - 7:46pm

And Roy Williams was the Cowboys starting WR for multiple years as well. Being a starter does not mean that you have starter level talent/ability/achievement.

As far as Harris goes, maybe you are correct in that there wasn't a history, all that took place before I went to grad school, so it is kinda lumped together in my mind. But I did find one scout page that lists knee concerns that pre-date the 2006 injury. http://centralmichigan.scout.com/a.z?s=340&p=8&c=1&nid=4832041

In any case, I do not dispute that he was a good draft pick, just that his clock was going to run out faster than it should have.

81
by Steve in WI :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 1:57pm

The Bears are reporting that Mike Tice has been promoted to offensive coordinator.

83
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 2:23pm

As a Packers fan I don't like this. I do not want a coordinator that I believe will be able to use both Cutler and Forte at near their potential. I don't like the thought of someone that understands the current offense and shares some of the basic philosophies of the coach he is taking over for so that the transition should be smoother than most OC changes. I'm not a fan of the Bears having someone who understands offensive line play being one step closer to influencing draft day decisions.

You couple this with a decision to remove the person most responsible for personnel management and it seems the Bears are doing things in a very reasonable, measured, and non-knee jerk manner.

I must label this a bad idea for the Bears as I feel the best thing for that organization is try and make choices that lead to them losing more games, especially division games, and this does not seem to be along those lines.

85
by Jimmy :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 4:11pm

I can't agree with sacking Angelo (unless it was for some reason that has as yet been unspecified). The Bears may have issues but before Cutler got injured the last two seasons the Bears were rounding themselves into one of the best teams in football. Every team has issues, it doesn't mean you have to go out and sack the GM. The new McCaskey has been on the job (a job he qualified for in the womb) for about five months and has sacked one of the two most important people in the building. I am seriously depressed about the sacking of Angelo, I think it is a step down the road that leads to a hamster team.

As for Tice, I like the continuity and hopefully an OC in full possession of all his marbles will lead to better results and Cutler may live out his contract.

87
by cheer :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 6:47pm

That's just crazy talk. Or perhaps you haven't been paying attention to the woeful drafts, or the fact that the OL has gotten WORSE over the past five years with no fix in sight.

90
by Jimmy :: Sat, 01/07/2012 - 2:07pm

Crazy because I don't agree with you? Or crazy because I don't try to SHOUT OVER THE INTERNET?

Go find a bridge to hide under.

84
by Will Allen :: Fri, 01/06/2012 - 3:15pm

Well, I'll be rooting for the Bears in at least 14 games next year, maybe 15, depending on the slight chance the Vikings will be playing for something by the time of their second contest. I recognize that Tice had his shortcomings as a head coach, but I've rarely seen a guy who was undermined as badly by ownership as he was, and in the face of that, he did a damned respectable job. I just hope he hires an o-line coach who has his strengths in that area.

89
by Eddo :: Sat, 01/07/2012 - 1:09pm

I am optimistic about the Tice promotion, especially after hearing your opinions on his Vikings tenure these past few years. I do recall you expressing some healthy skepticism a few months ago when I asked about his coordinator prospects, so I have tempered my enthusiasm a bit.

What I'm saying is, I respect your opinions on Tice, Will.

88
by Hellrayser (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2012 - 9:42am

Martz resigned over philosophical differences...? What does that mean?

I'll bet Mike Martz is a die-hard Continental, but Lovie thinks Wittgenstein is overrated, preferring analytical work like Karl Popper's. Maybe they duked it out over the reality of philosophical problems, with Martz arguing that Lovie was only engaging in complex language games, until Lovie turned the tables by threatening him with a poker.

Carry on, carry on...

91
by justanothersteve :: Sun, 01/08/2012 - 12:27am

I think it was a bit simpler. McCaskey wanted to Hegel with Martz, but Martz just Kant.