clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

If Bill Walsh was "the Master", then Jerry Angelo was the...

At least he has a great head of hair.
At least he has a great head of hair.

Earlier this week Michael Lombardi from wrote; Bill Walsh's NFL draft philosophies: Six lessons from the master. Lombardi worked around Walsh during his time as an NFL executive and he has very fond memories from that experience. He details six bullet points on his unique view of scouting.

This got me to thinking (after a helmet tip to Spongie) about former Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo and if he had a similarly unique method to his drafting madness. After the jump I'll highlight the master himself and speculate about old JA...

I wasn't as down as some in regards to Angelo, he had his share of misses, but he had a few solid hits during his time in Chicago. He seemed to have more success with free agency, but teams that can't build through the draft rarely have any prolonged success. Fair or not, the Angelo legacy in Chicago will be remembered more negatively.

Let's get on with the "six lessons" from both "the master" (whom I'll blockquote) and the... other guy... (whom I won't)

1) Describing the player by the round he should be taken. Walsh hated hearing a scout tell him a player was, for example, not a good second-rounder, but a great third-rounder.

1) I'll reach for that guy, just in case someone else is thinking about reaching for him too. Michael Okwo, Garrett Wolfe, Al Afalava,Chris Conte, Joshua Moore... are just a few guys that Angelo seemed to reach for. While not all his reaches tuned out bad, not all his reaches turned out good either.

2) "This is a bad draft." This statement drove Walsh nuts, as he felt it was a huge copout by scouts.

2) "This is a bad draft." This statement drove Angelo nuts, because he usually heard it every year after he drafted.

3) "We should trade down -- there is no one worth picking at our spot." Even though Walsh loved to move up or down, he felt that scouts always wanted to trade down to avoid putting their reputations on the line. He didn't like scouts shying away from making the tough call when he had to make tough calls all the time.

3) "We should trade down -- someone get the Ravens on the phone." Angelo loved to trade down because he shied away from making the tough call, and he just needed a team on the phone that he could stall long enough so he could have his choice between a couple players at a couple spots. Win / Win.

4) Watch out for players from downtrodden programs -- particularly programs that have just fired a coach -- being unfairly downgraded. In Walsh's mind, players from a program that has just fired its coach pay a price in draft evaluation.

4) Watch out for players from small programs -- particularly programs located in Texas -- because those are the guys we want. In Angelo's mind he wanted to be the guy that found the guy that could become the guy. And if his guys were from schools like Abeline Christian, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette, or West Texas A&M, then his geniusness could shine through.

5) "Never take the one-year wonder and look forward; take the one-year wonder and look back." After Walsh was burned by a one-year wonder in the 1987 draft -- Clemson running back Terrence Flagler -- he became skeptical of limited track records.

5) Never, ever, take a pool jumper again. To JA's credit, after his foray into YouTube territory and the pool jumping sensation Jarron Gilbert, Angelo never selected a pool jumper again. Lesson learned.

6) "The first year we will teach the players the system, the second year we will develop their skills within the system." Walsh thought overloading a rookie with the entire playbook was a bad mistake.

6) The first year we will red-shirt a player, the second year we hope our coaches can figure out how to best utilize him. The Bears love to use the 1st year red-shirt system so much, that they don't even bother slapping a yellow injury flag on a prospective draftee. Chris Williams will be fine. Gabe Carimi is A-OK. Tommie Harris has great knees. Pass the blinders please.