The New PR Nightmare for Jerry Angelo and Co.

This is one of the most unreal stories that I have heard in quite some time. For those of you who haven't heard, Chris Williams came out and said that both he and the Bears knew of his pre-existing herniated disc:

An emotional general manager Jerry Angelo said the player's story jibes with everything he and the team have had to say since the offensive tackle went down on the second day of training camp with an injury. Williams had surgery Aug. 6 to repair what head trainer Tim Bream said was a new injury to the same disc, and he will remain on the 53-man roster with hopes of playing in the second half of the season.

It was a risk worth taking for the Bears, who remain high on his prospects, because Williams was a model of durability at Vanderbilt.

"There is a lot of history of players that had this condition that he had at the combine that have played with it," Angelo said. "We were basing it off of the play time. We were basing it off of no symptoms for a period of three or more years. We were comfortable with that. I did use the term wear and tear. There were concerns. But you know what, you could say that for a lot of players at a lot of positions." Bream, who was put on a conference call in an extremely rare move, said the medical work on Williams raised yellow flags not red ones. The common dictation from physicians at the combine was Williams was fine. Williams had a stable herniation that had not given him any problems.

I don't know about the rest of you, but there is a huge logical void here. First, Angelo and Co. stated that they didn't have any knowledge of a pre-existing condition. Then, once Williams comes out and states that they did, an "emotional Angelo" has a teleconference with reporters. No wonder he was emotional...he just got caught in his own lie.

One other issue I'd like to bring up is that Jerry took the risk because he was a model of durability at Vanderbilt. I'm a Texas Longhorns fan, and I watched Cedric Benson rumble through his four years at Texas with nothing more than an ankle sprain. Just because they're durable in college DOES NOT translate into the pros. Football is a violent sport, and if you don't get injured in college, you'll get hurt in the pros, where the game is faster and the hits are harder. In fact, if they are durable in college, unless they're a freak of nature, they're likely to get injured easier in the pros because of all the wear and tear they sustained throughout their college years.

Part of me is furious about this story, because Angelo could have picked a developmental prospect and cemented a possible cornerstone. Instead, he did nothing to shore up the OL, drafted the most "NFL-ready" tackle, then got bit in the ass when the injury he knew was there flared up. The other part is feeling pretty average, because if the Bears don't perform this year, Angelo might be finding himself on the outside of Halas Hall come January.

Link to Sun-Times article

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