Tag:Jerry Angelo
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:19 am
Edited on: January 3, 2012 2:20 pm
 

Bears fire GM Jerry Angelo, Lovie 'will remain'

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 CBSSports.com'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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Posted on: December 28, 2011 9:00 pm
 

Lovie Smith refuses to answer query about Martz

Martz, Cutler

By Josh Katzowitz

With the Bears season nearing its end and with offensive coordinator Mike Martz in the final year of his contract, this question, put to coach Lovie Smith, seems awfully legit and somewhat obvious: So, are you bringing back Martz next season?

Thing is, Smith didn’t see it that way.

“What kind of question is that anyway, at this time?" Smith demanded, writes Rapid Reporter Gene Chamberlain. "What kind of question is that? Why would you ask a question like that anyway?"

Will Martz return?
Well, the reason why it was asked is fairly understandable, but sadly, Smith didn’t answer the question. When reporters asked Martz about the same subject, he was slightly more pleasant about answering the query.

"Obviously I would sure like to be back. I think all of that stuff works out," he said. "This is going to be a great football team and I would like to be a part of it. We’ll just see how it works out."

Martz hasn’t had the most pleasing of years. He and quarterback Jay Cutler made big news when Cutler fired a “F--- him” at Martz after he and his coach disagreed on a playcall. Martz also was criticized plenty when he seemed to forget about Matt Forte (who, ahem, made the Pro Bowl) by calling for passes on 52 of 63 total plays in a bad loss to the Saints early this season and by not designing plays to keep Cutler out of the arms of defenders (Cutler was asked in September if he could survive the year, and he hoarsely said, “I don’t know. I don’t know.”)

Martz also didn’t get much out of backup Caleb Hanie and then later blamed Hanie’s execution for a tough play-call that Martz probably had no business asking for in the first place.

While Martz is easy to criticize, the Bears offense hasn’t been THAT bad with him in charge. Chicago ranks 16th in the league in points and 20th in yards gained, which is certainly an improvement on last year when they were 21st and 30th, respectively, under Martz.

So, will he be back? Hopefully, Smith feels like answering that question next week when the season is over.

Also on Wednesday, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said he was impressed enough by Josh McCown’s appearance in his first start with the team last Sunday that he wouldn’t mind considering McCown as Cutler’s backup for next year.

“In Josh’s case, he came in here late,” Angelo told the team website, via the Chicago Tribune. “He did a real nice job. He did have a familiarity with the offense, so it wasn’t like he was brand new. He was new to us, but not new to the offense, and he showed that. We’ll have time to make that decision, and hopefully we’re going to see another good performance Sunday.”

The only other question, I guess, is whether Martz will be around next season to help make that decision.  Or as Smith would say, "Why would you even make that comment, anyway?!?"

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Posted on: December 23, 2011 8:11 pm
 

For the gambler in you, Week 16

Babin

By Josh Katzowitz

Each week, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Will Jason Babin tie or break the record of 22.5 sacks in a single regular season? 

Yes 5/1

Well, considering Babin doesn’t get to play against Brett Favre at all (“Thanks again, Brett,” says Michael Strahan), it’ll be tough to match Strahan’s record. Babin has 18 sacks and two more games to tie Strahan, and he’s be on fire recently, recording eight sacks in the past three games. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that the Eagles finish the season with the Cowboys and Redskins -- which rank 20th and 10th, respectively, in sacks allowed this season. So, while it might be tempting to take the odds, I think I’d probably go ‘no.’

Will Bear GM Jerry Angelo be fired before Game 1 of the 2012 regular season?     

Yes -140

No EVEN

Retired? Maybe.
Fired? No. While Caleb Hanie has been terrible since taking over for Jay Cutler, the Bears were on their way to the playoffs if their most important player didn’t get hurt. Now, if you’re asking Matt Forte, what he’d like to see happen, he might point toward a firing. But I don’t see it for now. That, however, doesn’t mean Angelo will be back next year.

Will Raheem Morris be the head coach of the Bucs for Game 1 of the 2012 regular season?     
   
Yes +110

No -150

I want to say yes, simply because the slide for the Buccaneers this season has been so steep. But I can’t stop thinking about last year’s surprising 10-6 finish that Morris helped orchestrate. I’d go no, but when Morris says things like this about his team, “You know, they’re not listening,” that’s certainly not a good sign.

Will either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Buffalo Bills win another game this season?

Yes -210

No +170

The Buccaneers play at Carolina and Atlanta; Buffalo plays host to Denver and then is at New England to end the season. Straight-up, I’d pick the Buccaneers and Bills to lose all of those games, but I think one team will end up winning one game. I’d bet ‘yes’ on this one, and cross my fingers.

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:17 pm
 

Report: Bears GM could retire at season's end

If Jerry Angleo retires what would that mean for Chicago's coaching staff? (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Bears' roster has experienced some reshuffling in recent weeks: Jay Cutler is out with a thumb injury (and may not return during the regular season), and Matt Forte is nursing a bum knee (he's expected to be out 2-4 weeks). But personnel goings-on could extend beyond the playing field. According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, there is "persistent chatter" that Bears general manager Jerry Angelo could retire. The deciding factor could be how Chicago's season plays out. Currently, they're the fifth seed in the NFC, but the Falcons, Lions and Giants are in the hunt, too.

The next question: what does a new general manager mean for Lovie Smith and his coaching staff? Smith, who has been the Bears' head coach since 2004 and took Chicago to the Super Bowl in 2006. In the four full seasons since, the Bears have two sub-.500 performance and qualified for the postseason just once. Smith has also taken criticism for offensive coordinator Mike Martz's early season game plans the last two seasons, ones that included Cutler taking a lot of huge hits.

If the Bears keep winning, you'd think Smith's job would be safe. If they flame out and miss the postseason and Angelo hangs it up, we will probably have to add Smith's name to the ol' coaching hot seat list.

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:16 pm
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Posted on: November 18, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Bears place first-round T Gabe Carimi on IR

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Last week, Bears offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, the team’s first-round pick out of Wisconsin, underwent arthroscopic debridement surgery on his knee in order to aid the recovery of the dislocation he suffered in Week 2.

At the time, Chicago hoped Carimi could return this year, but that dream is now over.

The Bears announced Friday that Carimi has been placed on IR, ending his season after playing only six quarters in his rookie season.

“Given where we are at in the season and the time already missed, this is the best move for Gabe and for our team,” said general manager Jerry Angelo told the team website.

“It became tough for us to hold a roster spot given our numbers on the offensive line with Chris (Williams) going down last week. Both guys played well while on the field. They will continue to rehab and will be ready to go next season. We feel very good about their futures. We also feel good about how the line continues to progress under Mike Tice.”

Tackle Levi Horn, who has been elevated from the practice squad, will take the place of Carimi on the active roster.



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Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Roberto Garza gets paid, is Matt Forte next?

Garza, who has been underpaid in recent years, finally gets his raise. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

After months of negotiating, posturing, and public PR battles, the Bears have finally paid the man. That's right, offensive lineman Roberto Garza is the proud recipient of a two-year extension worth $6.55 million ($2.6 million guaranteed) that will keep him in Chicago through 2013. (Wait, were you expecting news on another player? Perhaps the one who ran all over the Eagles' defense Monday night? More on that later.) 

The 11-year veteran has made the seamless transition to center, replacing Olin Kreutz who left during free agency for New Orleans. (Incidentally, Kreutz he left the team last month citing a lack of passion for the game.)

“I’m excited to be a part of this organization and continue my career as a Bear,” Garza said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Garza has started 86 of the last 88 regular-season games, and the Tribune calls him "the most underpaid interior offensive lineman to start in the NFL with his level of experience." His last contract came in 2006, when he signed a six-year, $12.8 million extension.

And while that's swell news for Garza -- and by extension, Jay Cutler, who has enjoyed some of the best pass protection he's seen since coming to Chicago prior to the 2009 season -- the Bears' best player continues to look for a new deal. So is Matt Forte next on the front office's to-do list?

“It’s part of the plan for the money,” general manager Jerry Angelo said last month.

A week before the 2011 regular season, the Bears reportedly offered Forte $15 million guaranteed. Five days later, contract talks were put no hold.

On Monday, before the Bears beat the Eagles, Angelo spoke again about Forte.

“Matt was the only player we targeted and we made him, in my opinion, a very lucrative offer and it wasn’t able to get done,” Angelo said on the WBBM pregame show. “Our intent is still to have Matt play the bulk of his years in Chicago and we’ll just have to wait and see.”

If talks continue to go nowhere the organization could always choose to slap Forte with the franchise tag. Angelo didn't deny that as a possibility.

“We always have a plan in place and we will continue to talk,” Angelo said. “These things are not easy to do but we’ve always got something going on. Is there something imminent? No. But we’re always planning and trying to create options.”


Matt Forte bounced back from two costly turnovers and Jay Cutler rallied the resilient Chicago Bears to a 30-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Lovie Smith was pleased with the play of his team.

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Posted on: September 21, 2011 8:05 pm
 

Forte thinks Bears believe he's not elite

FortePosted by Josh Katzowitz

As CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson pointed out in this week’s version of Coach Killers, Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s play-calling was slightly off-balance last week. In that of the Bears' 63 plays run on offense, Chicago compiled 52 pass plays.

But that percentage, which coach Lovie Smith has dissected and has claimed will move closer to 50-50 this Sunday, might not only get Smith fired (or, more likely, Martz). Apparently, it’s also indirectly inflamed Matt Forte, who has 324 total yards through the first two games (that ranks him second in the league behind Carolina’s Steve Smith).

Forte told reporters, via CSN Chicago, that he believes that the Bears think he is not an elite player, and that’s why he hasn’t received the long-term contract he feels he deserves. And while we assume Forte is talking about Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, he could also be mentioning Martz and his desire not to run the ball.

"I'd like to get paid off of the production," Forte said. "When you look at the production and what level that's on and you look at some of the guys who are producing and what they get paid, it's not that hard."

Detractors, I suppose, could point to Forte’s 117 total rushing yards, which ranks him 17th in the league, and claim that Forte isn’t running the ball effectively. But his total offensive production would make that claim dubious.

Forte -- who will make $600,000 in the last year of his current deal -- has made it known for quite some time that he wants more money, and in the offseason, it seemed like the two sides were closing in on a new deal. In fact, Forte even said, “I think we're going about it the right way.”

Forte obviously doesn’t feel that way anymore.

I’m not saying Martz is the one to blame here, but perhaps Forte is correct: maybe the Bears don’t believe he’s the player that he believes that he is. Either that, or he’s saying that to put pressure on Chicago to come to a deal.

Either way, Forte is not a happy man, but for now, there doesn’t appear to be much he can do about it.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com