Chicago Bears personnel decisions – horrendous

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What is wrong with the Chicago Bears and GM Jerry Angelo? I hesitate to write what I’m about to write only because I wouldn’t want the Bears to read it and get smart, saying to themselves: “Holy crap, we are so freakin’ stupid!

In 2005, the Bears drafted Cedric Benson with the 4th overall pick in the draft. When they did this, I remember telling Brother Steve immediately that it was a big mistake. Steve disagreed largely because of Benson’s quality college work. But my argument was based on what the Bears already had – Thomas Jones, a rising star. The Bears could have been in a much better position long-term by drafting any of a number of other guys with the #4 pick and sticking with the Jones/Adrian Peterson duo. I know some people believe that the platooning of Benson and Jones helped the team reach the Super Bowl that year, but that is just not the case. Jones by himself was very good and Benson’s #s weren’t bad only because he was in mostly on 3rd down, free-RB-yardage plays. And the offense as a whole was just not good leaving Devin Hester and the defense to win most of the games. Deciding to then jettison Jones after the season was really shortsighted. Sure, it’s easy to say now that things have played out this way, but again, I didn’t like the move the day they drafted Benson. And, on top of everything, Benson had a horrible attitude from day 1, something there were rumblings about before the draft. He eventually would whine about not being the guy and the Bears gave him what he wanted. And then he sucked. And the Bears sucked…and they still suck.

The second major error of course is this insistence that they are fine at the QB position. Grossman and Orton both are at best back-ups and maybe even on a good number of teams, third-stringers. These guys are not good. Again, I know the floating logic in the Bears’ personnel offices is that Rex took them to the Super Bowl, but again, that is not what happened. They got to the Super Bowl despite having Rex out there and had no chance to win that big game with him on the field. Here, by the way, is case-closed evidence for their respective terribleness, if you will:

  • Orton’s career numbers: 62 QB rating, 12 TDs, 15 INTs, 52% completion rate
  • Grossman’s career numbers: 70 QB rating, 31 TDs, 33 INTs, 54% completion rate

These are horrendous numbers and the fact that these two are “battling it out” is really unbelievable, but great for the rest of us in the NFC North.

The third major error is drafting Chris Williams with the 16th pick in this year’s draft. The Bears front office was right, maybe for the only time since drafting Devin Hester (and Garrett Wolfe who will be good this year), to think about bolstering the offensive line. As bad as Benson, Orton and Grossman are, they weren’t helped especially last year by shoddy O-Line play. Williams to most observers was a highly revered O-Line guy. But many teams had taken him off their draft boards when they learned re his chronic back problem. Sure enough, camp has barely started and the guy is going to get surgery on his back – and one scout even noted here that it may not just be a season-ending injury, but possibly a career-ending injury. But it’s this kind of quote from Lovie Smith that really makes me wonder sometimes if there is a cloud of denial that hangs around the Bears front office re obvious personnel mistakes:

”We don’t know anything about [Williams being removed from other teams’ draft boards],” coach Lovie Smith said. ”He wasn’t falling off ours. This injury, from what I am told, isn’t a pre-existing injury, so that is what we’re going with. Injuries happen in camp, and you go from there. We were unlucky a little bit with this, but Chris will be OK and we’ll go from there.”

(Incidentally, their other O-lineman Terrence Metcalf also appears to be out for a while with a knee injury. So much for building up their O-line).

Again, as a Packer fan, I really like Jerry Angelo. I think he’s great at what he does if his goal is helping the Packers win the NFC North. But knowing how many Bears fans criticized the Packers for their role in pushing Favre out, I think they ought to remove the logs from their own eyes first…to get misquoted Biblical on you.

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14 Responses to “Chicago Bears personnel decisions – horrendous”

  1. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    being the age i am (26), i identify the packers main rivalry as that of the packers-vikings variety. and boy do i hate the vikings. one of my life’s most glorious moments came while at college in minnesota, watching a p-v game amidst a sea of ‘purple-priders,’ and the silence that followed one antonio freeman’s miracle ‘bounce it off every limb i have while on the ground’ touchdown catch. i just stood promptly, clapped my hands and said “back to work” and left the room. i believe that was also the year of the 41-0 vikings playoff embarrassment. i made a t-shirt for that one. but i digress…

    i have, however, inherited a healthy hatred of the bears from my father, and boy do i love watching the bears spend most of their time in the ER with gunshot wounds to their feet, clinging stubbornly to the pistol that ‘did the job’ (but we all know, rex grossman doesn’t kill playoff hopes, the management that continues to employ him kills playoff hopes).

    while jerry angelo and matt millen continue their poo-version king midas reigns, let’s just hope that in an unpredictable league, competence and forward thinking comes out on top. (yes, i’m talking about TT and MM – if they made 2 years worth of nothing but ‘challenged’ decisions, we’d still be better off than chicagobangbang and millentown) it didn’t last year — the giants aren’t complete poo, but they smell worse than most champions should. but i suppose that’s bound to happen now and then. and i was glad they beat the patriots.

    so let’s all raise our pabst-filled pilsners to jerry and matt — may you continue to baffle even the most impulsive and stubborn fans with your guns aimed at the floor!

  2. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    No offense, but in what world is Thomas Jones a “star.” Adequate? Sure. Pretty good? I might agree. But “star”? Maybe a stretch. (Now, *Tom* Jones is an effing superstar.)

    I can’t blame the Bears for going after what they thought was a legit difference maker at RB. I certainly wouldn’t pass up the chance at the next Walter Payton because I had a “pretty good” 6 year journeyman on my roster. What you can blame the Bears for is thinking that Benson was a difference maker.

  3. Cindy V Says:

    They don’t call him “Wrecks” Grossman for nothing! I heard Lovie Smith speak at one of these business motivational things at the Bradley Center last year. He said that on the first day, all team members syncronize their watches because he doesn’t tolerate lateness. I’m thinking to myself, “This guy feels showing up on time is important, too bad he doesn’t feel that DOING the job right is more important.” Thank goodness for misplaced priorities.

  4. BratsNBeerGuy Says:

    I don’t thinkn you have to worry at all about Angelo getting smart, even if Mama Bear printed this out and forced him to read it. And total agreement with DDD on Tom Jones: Saw him in Vegas last year and he’s still got it going on.

  5. awhayes Says:

    DDD – playing politician on me? I referred to Thomas Jones as a “rising star”, not yet a star and that was based on a 1335 yard season and his 3rd straight season averaging more than 4 yards per carry. He was really good at that time. But the problem I had with their draft pick was that it created an immediate RB controversy and added a known attitude problem.

    For some reason I confuse Tom Jones with Tony Bennett, who I then confuse with Tony Bennett ex-Packer who was great and then suddenly gone from the team, who I then confuse with Tony Bennett, Dick Bennett’s son who now makes tons of cash coaching very effectively in college basketball – now he’s a star.

  6. Ron La Canne Says:

    Since being forced to see and hear the Bears crush the Blackborn, McLean, Ronzani and Lambeau Packers, I hate the Bears. Being crushed consistently for the 11 years prior to Lombardis is a hurt I will never forgive . Anything bad that happens to them is a good thing. I fear someday GSH’s relatives by marriage will wake up and decide they should get a good team on the field again. Let’s not forget their defense completely handcuffed the All-Pro last year.

    I suggest we send encouraging messages to Angelo. Keep up the good work, if you know what I mean.

  7. PackerBacker4Ever Says:

    On one hand the Bears have a GM and coach that can evaluate defensive talent and coach that talent into a elite unit. On the other hand, you have a GM that has NO ability to evaluate offensive players and a head coach that defers offensive duties to a coordinator that would have been jettisoned by any other team years ago. Their recipe is to win was with defense and special teams and an adequate ‘no mistake’ offense. That recipe worked for the Ravens and Bucs but that window of opportunity has closed for the Bears. The defense is past it’s prime and no longer even close to elite. The offense isn’t even close to adequate anymore. The Bears should be in full fledged rebuilding mode but the taste of Superbowl still clouds their judgement.

  8. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    “Rising” in his sixth season and third team? That’s what I call a late bloomer.

    Also, I think the Bears drafted Benson before the Jones’s 1300 yard season.

  9. Aaron Says:

    PackerBacker4Eever – Perfect posting.

  10. awhayes Says:

    Some players do bloom later, but they can still rise to become stars, no?

    You’re right, Benson was drafted in 2005 which was the same season Jones had his 1335 yard season. In 2004 Jones split time and had 948 yards, 4yp carry and 56 receptions and in 2003, Jones averaged 4.6 yards per carry – rising star stats.

  11. Aaron Says:

    Andy – to your overall point re: the drafting of Benson.

    Completely agree. I said at the time it made no sense. Glad they did it though… ;)

  12. Ron La Canne Says:

    Interesting! Just heard a report that Favre is complaining of a sore arm. Apparently, the Jets may be pushing him a little too much in camp. He was no where near football condition and the Jets want to start him in Game #2. Too fast for an old man.

  13. Kevin Says:

    he beat the snot out of the pack twice last year!!!

  14. Is Kyle Orton…not bad? « packergeeks Says:

    [...] free agent or two). In fact, at one point, I wrote a lengthy post re the Bears personnel decisions here, and in this post I ripped the QB decisions in particular. My argument at the time (I believe [...]

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