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: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:13 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

no more Martz is the best news any Bear fan could hear!!!!!!!

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2012 4:08 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

Martz was a bad fit. Not really Lovie's fault he had no back up QB. Someone took the ax and I think it was the right people.

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:57 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

How does this man survive............................

...he is a god awful coach.Hey Kenny Williams is still running the sox...look what he did. I guess ya don't have to really be good or even know how to keep  your job in chicago...How did Quade get axed...

Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:48 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

You do realize that the OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR (Mike Martz) calls those plays?   Lack of talent is on the GM, the horrific play of the offense falls on the coordinator and his schemes.

Since: Sep 9, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:20 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

Lovie needs to go.  He said the offensive line this year was the best since '05.  WHAT?????

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:19 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

Clearly they didn't know Hanie wasn't any good, which is an indictment on talent evaluation.  You are correct though, that backup QB is always an afterthought.  Even before Cutler, when our starters were terrible, we never had real backups in town. 

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:18 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

How does Lovie remain?

Need to include the head coach as well! 
He was terrible!  An exam[ple of his incompetency.. why would you elect to pass the ball from the 8 yd. line on 1st and goal after being intercepted 3 times, only to get intercepted a 4th time in the endzone.... NOT once but twice!   That is the head coach's fault.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:12 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

I don't believe the Bears problem is that they are cheap. The problem is that they don't spend there money wisely. The Bears payroll is 14th out of 32 teams in the NFL. Teams such as New England, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Atlanta have lesser payrolls. To say that the Bears are cheap is misleading at best. The guys in charge (Angelo) have used the money they had to spend poorly. The Bears organization should use New England as a model. They need to evaluate talent better and spend for quality. Time for a huge decision, who can you trust to rite the ship?
I want my team to spend every dime bringing in the most talent possible. If the Bears were $19 mil under the cap starting this season, they could have brought in a better backup QB and made the playoffs. They knew Hanie wasn't any good, and did nothing to help the situation until it was too late. Favre would have come out of retirement to help them get into the playoffs. OK, bad example.

They also could have sored up their depth at other positions. The Angelo mistakes were numerous. It will be hard to undo the years of neglect.

Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:57 pm

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

Everyone wants Fisher. He hasnt done much more than Lovie. I want Lovie gone also. Look at what Cowher and his staff did everytime he lost players to free agency and injuries. They were great judge of talent and they kept winning despite who they lost. Thats what i want! Break the bank on Cowher and give him an offer he cant refuse!!!

Since: Feb 23, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:45 pm

Report: Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo

This is great news for the Bears. I have never been convinced that this guy could lead this franchise to a championship. I beleive that their one Super Bowl appearance was a result of momentum rather than overall excellence - as a great defense can cover up a lot of flaws. And in my mind, my suspicion was proven true when the Bears followed their Super Bowl year with mediocrity (7-9) the next season. 

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