My question is a simple one – do you trust Chicago Bears President Ted Phillips to select the next Bears General Manager? Here’s Ted Phillips:
“There’s a lot of factors that I really don’t want to get into all the delineation out of respect for Jerry because he’s brought a lot to this team,” Phillips said. “Ultimately, we look at our division and say we need to close that talent gap, and I think the way to do that right now is a fresh start and a new look at our team.”
When Phillips needed to fill the GM role back in 2001, he famously used a search firm to conduct the search and dig Jerry Angelo out from under a rock in Tampa Bay. It makes sense since Phillips is more numbers man than football man. He used to be an accountant for the Bears, bumped up to the President role and he accomplished his goal – get Soldier Field re-built. Michael McCaskey could not see eye to eye with former Mayor Richard Daley and Phillips brokered the deal to rehab the old Soldier Field. You see how that fiasco turned out, but I digress.
On Tuesday Phillips cited the widening gap in the talent pool between the Bears and their division rivals the Packers and Lions as the reason to sack Jerry Angelo. At least he’s got a working television in his office at Halas Hall because he’s finally seeing what we’ve all known about Angelo for years – he couldn’t draft worth a damn and after the front line facade, there isn’t much behind them. When injuries hit the Bears, they lacked competent players to keep the ship afloat and turned a sure playoff season into a major disappointment.
The Bears are putting a restriction on their next GM – Lovie Smith is the Bears head coach in 2012. I am afraid that puts a big flashing red sign out there to any GM candidate worth a damn. Why would any high profile candidates want to come here and have the head coach and his staff, not to mention his defensive philosophy, forced on him. If the GM comes in and meets with Lovie and finds he can work with him, fine. But why make it a prerequisite?
Another obstacle in this situation is it sets up another challenge for Lovie Smith as he searches for new offensive coordinators to replace Mike Martz. A couple of season ago when Ron Turner got the boot and the Bears were looking for offensive coordinators, many candidates weren’t interested in the job because they felt like Lovie Smith was on shaky ground and they didn’t want to come here to be one and done. When bringing in a new GM, it’s clear that Lovie is once again on the hot seat. So why would viable offensive coordinator candidates want to come here?
This whole situation smells like the Dick Jauron 2001 Bears all over again, when Jerry Angelo inherited Dick Jauron and the Bears had their miraculous 13-3 season and speedy Divisional Round exit. It’s short-sighted and could end up costing the Bears to get the right GM.
Plenty more coverage looking at GM candidates, so stay tuned.