Bears’ Floor Falling Out?

One of the many witty anecdotes Jerry Angelo came up with when he arrived in Chicago, to espouse during his swaying press conferences was “we draft players with better floors that ceilings.”  Presumably in Jerry-speak that meant that Angelo would pick a player that is less likely to fail over one with a higher upside but also a high risk factor.

Another one of the tiles in Jerry’s floor fell out yesterday when the Bears cut receiver Mark Bradley, Angelo’s 2005 second-round pick.

2005 Round 1: RB Cedric Benson, complete bustout

2005 Round 2: WR Mark Bradley, cut

2006 Round 2 (top tick) S Danieal Manning, can’t play his way onto the field

2007 Round 2: DE Dan Bazuin, cut, no interest from any other NFL team

2007 Round 3: LB Mike Okwo, cut, no interest from any other NFL team

Angelo better be very careful, or this could turn into a bonafide Wanny-like, franchise killing run of drafts.

Oh wait.  The Bears organization holds onto coaches and personnel people forever despite their performance.  Angelo and Smith are signed through 2011 I believe.  They’re OK, nothing to worry about Bear fans.

13 Responses to “Bears’ Floor Falling Out?”

  1. I am back, and more positive than ever. You named five people, let me name five: Brain Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Devin Hester, Nathan Vasher, Tommy Harris. All have been to the Pro-Bowl, all were Angelo draft picks. Also, I like the fact that they are starting to cut people early who don’t pan out. Every team drafts people who don’t pan out, it is the ability to come to terms with this and cut ties as soon as possible which sets the good teams apart. After thinking back to these last couple games, I am starting to think we are too aggresive in the early portions of the game. As an NFL team if you want to blitz all game long especially with your safeties, you had better have depth out the ass in the secondary, which we don’t. Against Philadelphia, I would like to see them play a more preventative defense in the first half, show a little more aggressiveness in the third quarter, and bring the shock and awe in the fourth.

  2. When it comes to the draft, Angelo has proven himself to be completely incompetent. We the fans are forced to sit and watch year after year as our biggest needs go unfilled because of his reckless decision making. I fail to understand how cutting Bradley, who plays a position we are dangerously thin at was a good idea. The bottom line is that when he was on the field the kid could play, but because of this organizations tendency to play “super-secret keep away” we will never know the answer. It seems to me that there is a certain arrogance on display here, and that it is both Angelo and Smith that are the perpetrators. “Trust us to make the right decisions for the team”, as they run it right into the ground.

  3. I would like to know off what you are basing these ideas. Division crowns two out of the past three years? A SuperBowl appearance two years ago? The influx of talent on defense that keeps us competitive every year (Marcus Harrison wil be a stud!). All you can read in to this move is that Bradley’s knee injury has slowed him up, and management wasn’t willing to wait and see if he was going to get back to the form he played at before he ever reached his potential when they can pick up a young talented player that addresses a different need at a dangerously thin position for next to nothing. Like I said, if we are going to continue to be as aggressive as we have been, then we need depth in the secondary. Obviously, they feel Brandon Rideau can fill the spot of catching the six passes that Mark Bradley brought in for us last year.

  4. I’m basing those ideas off of the fact that we continue to put quarterbacks behind swiss cheese offensive lines, and wonder why we can’t find one that’s able to consistently produce in game situations. I am also basing it off of the several draft gambles that Angelo has takes over the past seven year, i.e. Chris Williams, Danieal Manning, etc. Or the fact that when he does make a solid pick, and said pick has a bad game or two or gets injured he sees fit to ship them off to another team where they amazingly all seem to turn into studs i.e. Marc Columbo, Chris Harris, etc. Do not forget that those division titles and that super bowl appearance where the product of a HEALTHY defense, and an offense that was consistently producing big numbers. Guess what happens when the offense goes south, the defense spends more time on the field and star players end up getting hurt i.e. 2007. My point is that this is no where near being a well rounded, balanced team and the main culprit behind that is Jerry Angelo. Yes, I will agree with you that our defense is off to a great start, but if the kind of inept play calling and poor offensive performance that you saw against the Bucs continues, you will see an astronomical drop when the starters get hurt. I also do not agree with the coaching staffs decision to use our only two current threats, meaning Hester and Forte, on almost every play. Will it take both of them being carted off the field with season ending injuries to realize that it’s just not smart football? Bolster the defense all you want, but if the offense continues to come onto the field for three and out series that defense is in serious trouble.

  5. I think the fact that you just said his draft picks end up being studs puts the “completely incompetent” comment to bed. Yes, he didn’t give Columbo the time he needed to recover, and I think Chris Harris was more of a locker room distraction/upcoming salary cap decision. I agree with you on the fact that offensive time of posession makes a huge impact on your defense, which is why I would like to see more split carries between Kevin Jones and Matt Forte. Not much, but give Mr. Jones a few more. Also, I don’t think you can rule out either Danieal Manning or Chris Williams yet. Danieal has to have some time to learn nickel back and Chris needs to play before we can say he was a gamble. Also, you can’t say that injuries on defense were caused by being on the field too much in 2007. Mike Brown and Dusty Dvoracek both tore knee ligaments in the first game of the season. Another thing, I don’t think anyone could have predicted the instant decline of both Rueben Brown and Fred Miller in 2007. Those guys were aweful. Speaking of Fred, I hope he did play hurt last year because guess who’s back.

  6. Just read through this dialogue, and Higgins, here are some additional thoughts for you to soak in in regards to your Angelo-loving praise:

    The draft busts the Webmaster cited are right on. Grossman miss set us back years (again) as did Benson. Olson pick TBD, originally looked good, now not so good. Williams TBD but drafted with medical probalems and was a PR fiasco and too big of a risk to take on, considering past failures. Higgins, Urlacher was NOT an Angelo draft pick.

    Why didn’t Angelo draft a QB of any kind this year in later rounds (Henne was available), even though Grossman will surely be gone next year, and Orton is only a servicable QB at best. Could have also drafted Mendenhall but even though he KNEW Benson was 99% on his way to being a bust, he didn’t draft Mendenhall anyway. Mendenhall’s future TBD, but I think was worth the risk.

    Sure, all teams have hits and misses. But under Angleo, the misses far outweigh the hits. You cite Tommie Harris as a hit. OK, he’s made a few pro bowls, and has been injured. Now what? His impact on the field has been minimal so far this year. And Vasher can’t cover anyone or tackle.

    What about busts like Michael Haynes, etc.

    Angelo sometimes seems to get credit for being the so called “mastermind” for putting together Tampa’s SB winning team. In fact he was director of player personnel with TB and did not handle drafting responsibilities as far as I know.

  7. They rolled the dice on Brown and Miller from the start, they knew both were well into the twilight of their careers, which is why it escapes me as to why you would want to bring Miller back. It seems to me like they have no direction in which they want to move this offense, and this “good enough for now” schtick is getting old quick. As for Williams, a back issue like a herniated disc, especially one that was pre-existing and plagued him through college, normally means one thing: his career is over. I would be shocked to see him come out and play. My comments about Angelos draft competency also hinge on the fact that it is the GM’s responsibility to scout players who will fit well within their organizations system, and obviously we’ve had more than a couple guys through here who fit that description (even before JA’s tenure). As for the ’07 defensive injuries, how many games did Vasher miss, Briggs, Urlacher, Tillman, and McGowan all missed time (especially after that Dallas fiasco, which was all due in part to the offense playing poorly. Now, on to the points that we are totally on the same page about, should Forte and Jones split time, absolutely, could D. Manning develop into a threat in the secondary? I believe he could but he needs to step up his game now, he has proven that he has the speed, but he needs to make plays when he is given the opportunity otherwise he will meet that same fate that Mark Bradley did. I guess we will need to agree to disagree on some things.

  8. And also, Higgins, before any of this gets misconstrued, I’m not trying to start a pissing match here, in fact I love your optimism. It just kills me to watch the brass in the front offense continue to fall flat on their faces on some of these personnel decisions. When you think back over the years and some of the talent that has been part of this organization (and this is not just JA) it baffles the mind that there have not been more championships. It really comes down to the front office.

    Bear Down.

  9. Yes, on my Urlacher miss. I realized it just after I hit “Submit Comment”. Replace that with Charles Tillman (even though he hasn’t made a ProBowl). Brian get your mind right. If saying that Angelo is not completely incompetent is somehow in your world praising him then I don’t know what to say. I have merely said that every team has busts, every team has guys that drop off the face of the Earth despite their seemingly high level of talent before the draft. I am trying to limit the negativity that is coming out of Bears fan’s mouths. Every blog I go to is trying to chop heads and berating this team. Not to mention the most negative blog on the net (Rosenblog-Chicago Tribune) which is from the teams home town, but can not say one good thing after a loss, but is ready to go down on the Bears when we win. Just trying to remain positive because you Negative Nancy’s who can’t see that our defense has been really fun to watch for the majority of this short season, and the improvements we are making on offense from week to week. No!! Heaven forbid the Bears actually lose once in awhile!! It happens. Go be a Patriots fan! I don’t want to claim you!

  10. That was directed more at Brian(I got a little pissed when he suggested I was praising Angelo) and anyone who wants to continually cut down the Bears. Mendenhall? Do we not have the front runner for offensive rookie of the year right now?

  11. Higgins, your comments about Angelo sounded pretty positive and it looked to me like you were defending a lot of his picks. If that’s not the case, that’s fine. I read through them quickly and that was my take, I did not go through everything you wrote word for word. Bottom line is, a lot of his mistakes have set us back years. Examples: Benson, Grossman. Hopefully Forte can develop into a good back for years to come, and is off to a nice start.

    Merely pointed out that Mendenhall was there to be taken; Angelo took Williams, and his future is TBD. And look, about Williams, I have been dealing with serious back problems my whole life, and I’m 37. A herniated disk is a serious injury. To come back from any kind of surgery is very tough, pro athlete or not. I do not expect to see him on the field this year. Given Angelo’s shaky history of draft busts, I cannot believe he made that pick knowing he had a history of injury and the potential for problems.

    About the negativity surrounding this team, look, we’re two years removed from the Super Bowl, yes, we all know that. Honestly, do you think we’re heading back there any time soon? Not being negative, I just don’t think so.

    I’m not going to spend all afternoon writing why we are where we’re at. There are plenty of other Bears fans that get fed up with the way this organization operates overall, starting with every meddling McCaskey in Lake Forest. Look, Angelo is not solely responsible for last year’s decline. Lovie’s incompetence, and that of his staff, are obviously big chunks of the equation. If you can’t see that, then I don’t know what you’re looking at, I’m sorry.

    Do you really think Babich and Turner know what they’re doing? Blowing a 10 point lead in 3 plus minutes at home is inexcusable, regardless of our offense’s inability to pick up a first down with a few minutes left. That follows the Carolina defensive letdown. See a trend? Anyway, I’ve got to get back to work. If you really think the Bears have assembled a talented roster with a coaching staff that knows what it’s doing, keep living the dream. Just don’t think we’re heading in the right direction at the moment, plain and simple.

  12. Rex Grossman: The 2003 draft was weak at the QB possition. What QB could the Bears have picked? None come to mind.

  13. Thanks the author!

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