Blog Entry

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:19 am
Edited on: January 3, 2012 2:20 pm
Chicago has decided to move on from GM Jerry Angelo.(US PRESSWIRE)

By Will Brinson

Earlier in the year, there were rumors that Bears general manager Jerry Angelo might retire at the end of 2011. He laughed at those rumors then, but probably isn't laughing on Tuesday, as the Bears have relieved Angelo of his duties effectively immediately.

The team announced that news on Tuesday morning, confirming reports from Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune and Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. The team later updated their press release to read that "Lovie Smith will remain."

A source tells's Mike Freeman that the reason for making the move is simple: "the organization was growing stale."

Black Monday

The big question is how many people in the organization this will affect. Freeman heard that Lovie might be 'in a bit of trouble,' and even though Smith "will remain" he still can't feel completely safe within the organization, particularly since a new general manager isn't typically inclined to love a previous coach.

Smith received a two-year extension after last season, taking him through the 2013 season. The Bears also said that Lovie "will continue to evaluate his coaching staff," which means if he does stay, he'll see significant pressure as he heads into the "year before the lame-duck year" portion of his contract.

Meanwhile, one of the league's most scrutinized offensive coordinators, Mike Martz, has resigned for "philosophical differences" according to the Chicago Tribune's Dan Pompei. (Martz's contract expired Sunday so, technically, he didn't resign so much as say, "If you're planning on giving me a new deal just know that I ain't coming back. And that's doubly true if you were going to tell me to beat it.") On Monday, Smith was noncommittal about Martz's future with the team and now we know why. 

Two guys that should be happy with this news? Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. Cutler because the new offensive coordinator might be interested in fitting the scheme to his best player. And Forte because he could be more likely to get a new deal from the Bears under a new front office than he was from Angelo.

Angelo became Bears GM in 2001, fired Dick Jauron in 2003 and hired Lovie, who's 71-57 under Angelo (Angelo's teams were 95-81 overall) including one trip to the Super Bowl and a slew of dominant defenses.

But the Bears were exposed by injuries in 2011: when Jay Cutler and Matt Forte went down, it became clear that Chicago hadn't properly allocated assets to create depth on the offensive front. Chicago lost five of their last six games after a hot start had them in control of a wild-card spot and nipping at the undefeated Packers heels in the NFC North.

Angelo dealt with contract issues surrounding both Lance Briggs (twice now!) and Forte (the infamous "pay the man" debate) and doesn't exactly have a history of slam-dunking first-round picks. Pardon the list, but from 2001 to 2011 the Bears drafted the following players in the first round of the NFL Draft: David Terrell (8), Marc Colombo (29), Michael Hayes (14), Rex Grossman (22), Tommie Harris (14), Cedric Benson (4), Greg Olsen (31), Chris Williams (14) and Gabe Carimi (29).

Three times -- thrice! -- in that span, the Bears didn't have a first-round pick, although two of them were used to acquire quarterback Jay Cutler.

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Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:51 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

Good riddance to bad rubbish! As a diehard, I couldn't have been happier to see this headline this morning. I truly believe the front office has held the team back the past several years with the horrible drafts and trades. The O-line has no depth, no depth at qb, mediocre receiving corps, and an aging defense (also with a few depth issues). I really hope a new front office will be able to rejuvenate the franchise. The ho-hum attitude has got to change. I like and respect Lovie Smith as a coach also, but some new energy there Wouldn't be a bad thing either. Here's hoping for next season...Bear Down!!

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:47 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

its about time, now lets get rid of lovie and martz and hire a real coach!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Nov 8, 2010
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:46 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

I wonder if he was told to go 'whistle Dixie'...

Since: Dec 7, 2010
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:45 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

Finally,  now its time to clean house of everyone... If Ruskal is the GM,  they are no better off....

Bring in Jeff Fisher 

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:44 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

Best news of the year so far by a longshot!!!   Escort him out with security too!

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:42 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

finally, know they better not hire another moron

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:40 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

What were they waiting for?  The entire organizatin needs to be overhauled.  How does Ted Phillips escape this?  How does Lovie survive the Mike Martz travesty? 

Hopefully a new GM can come in and have a solid draft (which would be something new for this team). 

If Tim Ruskell gets promoted the team is screwed...hopefully he got canned too. 

Since: Jan 20, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:39 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

Wowzers!  This is shocking news.  Maybe the new McCaskey in charge will start running the Bears like Rocky Wirtz did the Blackhawks.  I'm interested to see where this is going to lead.

Since: May 27, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:39 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

I agree!!!!!!!! I just cannot believe he survived during his first few years.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:32 am

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

Several years too late, but better late than never.... 

Now, someone who can evaluate offensive talent would be super.

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