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.