What, you thought we'd be talking about something, anything, else today? I think not, as the seismic philosophical shift occurring in Halas Hall as we speak (well, write) is the biggest news since... well, it's been awhile. Hit the jump to look back at some Jerry Angelo info, his drafts, some linkage, and look at that smug grin one final time.
We are gathered today to
mourn celebrate the departure of one Jerry Angelo, the former general manager of the National Football League's Chicago Bears. Angelo came to Chicago in 2001 after fourteen years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As luck would have it, Angelo left the Bucs just two years before their first Super Bowl victory. During his eleven years as general manager, the Bears amassed a 95-81 regular season record (54% winning percentage), four playoff berths, a 3-4 postseason record, and one Super Bowl appearance (and a partridge in a pear tree).
Whether you were a Jerry fan, or ran FireJerryAngelo.com or FireJerryAngelo.org, he was always unpredictable (unless we're talking about drafting defensive lineman). Jerry had his successes in both free agency and in the draft, and his misses. His full draft record can be found here, and his Bears' front office bio describes Jerry's numerous free agent successes (including Omiyale, Manumaleuna, Taylor, Bullocks, Miller, Thomas Jones, Ruben Brown, Tait, Peppers, etc, etc, and Sam Hurd).
Do not forget Jerry the way the NFL has forgotten some of his more... unique... draft choices (Igelsias, Gilbert, Harrison, Bazuin, Wolfe, Okwo, Dvoracek, Bradley, Tank, Rosie Williams - all second or third-round choices) or solely focus on his record with first-round picks(Colombo, Haynes, Grossman, Tommie, Benson, Olsen, Chris Williams). Let us thank him for giving us new players to cheer for, and to lead us to greener pastures and February-dated football games; players like Matt Forte, Charles Tillman, Alex Brown, Lance Briggs, Chris Harris, Nathan Vasher, Kyle Orton, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Corey Graham, and D.J. Moore.
Do not forget his love of the late-round offensive lineman (seventh rounders Webb, Louis, Barton, Adams, Brant versus Colombo, Metcalf, and Carimi being the only O-line picks from rounds one through three). His drafting of quarterbacks in the first, fourth, two fifths, and sixth rounds and yet still having to trade away two first-round picks, a third, and a fourth (Orton's draft round) for the team's franchise quarterback. Nor forget the lack of a number one wide receiver (Mushin Muhammed, Bernard Berrian, Marty Booker, Roy E. Williams, Devin Hester), or even respectable receiving corp (Derek Kinder, Andy Fantuz, Marcus Monk, Jaquin Igelsias, Mark Bradley, Airese Currie, Jamin Elliot, or Brian Anderson).
And never, ever, forget Tron LaFavor.
So, on this day, we remember the good times (Super Bowl kickoff return by Hester, Cutler trade, Peppers signing) and the bad times (seeing the two guys next to Peppers holding Bears' jerseys, the last four offseasons and Jerry was still around), and hope that we have all learned something from Jerry. Whether it be that a grown man jumping out of a pool does not make him a good football player, that you should never trade a starting running back in order to start a head case and only get back a couple of draft spots higher in round two, that having a good backup quarterback is kind of important, or that George McCaskey means business.
We thank Jerry for his time and effort, for making some good moves, and for hopefully not screwing things up so poorly that we can't get back to the Super Bowl in the next year or two. I don't know about you, but in a twisted kind of way, I'll miss Jerry. Its like a boxer losing his favorite punching bag; sure he can get a new one, but it won't be quite the same as the old one.