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Jerry Angelo defends Bears’ offensive line plan

Chicago Bears v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The Bears offensive line struggled to protect Jay Cutler once again on Sunday, leading to a new raft of questions about the job general manager Jerry Angelo did to address a weakness from last season.

The team certainly didn’t ignore their needs in the area. They drafted tackle Gabe Carimi in the first round and signed Chris Spencer away from the Seahawks, although the loss of longtime center Olin Kreutz to the Saints meant it wasn’t all about additions. Spencer didn’t win a starting job in camp, but did get the start at right guard in Sunday’s loss to the Saints in place of the injured Lance Louis. Carimi has started each of the first two games, but will miss the next four weeks or so with a dislocated knee.

In an interview with the team’s website, Angelo defended his work.

“We did everything you could possibly do to that position. Nobody did more than the Chicago Bears. We drafted a player in the first round. We brought in a player with a lot of NFL experience who is still in his prime. We developed young players who are going into their second and third years, including another high draft pick in Chris Williams. We like our eight linemen. That’s not an issue. Injuries happen, and then you have to adjust accordingly. Everything bad that happened on Sunday wasn’t all because of poor offensive line play. Believe me when I tell you that. It was a collective failure. The defense and special teams share part of that as well. So let’s not beat up on the offensive line.”

Few teams could lose two starting offensive linemen without missing a beat, so it is hard to beat up on Angelo too much for that. But you can certainly find fault with the decision to let Kreutz walk away and replacing him with a player who couldn’t win a starting job. Angelo should be careful about patting himself on the back for Williams. He wasn’t drafted with the 14th overall pick to become the left guard, he was drafted to fill the left tackle spot now filled by J’Marcus Webb.

Those things do make Angelo’s talent evaluation and decision-making fair game for criticism. As is an offense that remains so heavily slanted in favor of the pass despite the line’s inability to protect Cutler and the presence of a good running back in Matt Forte. You know what you’re getting when you hire Mike Martz and that means you need to do more to ensure that the offense can run effectively by building the best offensive line possible.

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34 Responses to “Jerry Angelo defends Bears’ offensive line plan”
  1. fu7ur3pr00f says: Sep 21, 2011 11:24 AM

    Jerry,

    How come Ted Thompson can figure out how to protect Aaron Rodgers? How come Sean Payton can figure out to protect Brees? Belichick can protect Brady? A.J. Smith can protect Philip Rivers? Polian can protect Peyton Manning?

    This team has had the same problems for years now, that continually do not get addressed.

    Offensive Line and Wide Receiver.

    I don’t care what Angelo says, it’s inexcusable that after 3 years now with Jay Cutler, that they cannot protect him.

  2. thingamajig says: Sep 21, 2011 11:27 AM

    Jerry Angelo said ” We like our eight linemen. That’s not an issue”

    Think Cutler agrees?

  3. dukemarc says: Sep 21, 2011 11:40 AM

    “Jerry Angelo defends Bears’ offensive line plan” – but that offensive line can’t defend Cutler.

  4. fcs34 says: Sep 21, 2011 11:47 AM

    The fact that Jerry Angelo got his far in life with fetal alcohol syndrome amazes me. Can’t someone in Chicago do the rest of us a favour and just run this guy down in the street. Please?

  5. kalispellmt says: Sep 21, 2011 11:47 AM

    No o-line, no receiver for your star qb, 3 years later.
    He likes his o-line. He has said the exact same thing for 2 years about his receivers. Douche.

  6. kalispellmt says: Sep 21, 2011 11:49 AM

    When they stole Cutler, I really thought they were on the right track, and I had high hopes for the next ten years.
    Now all I see is mediocrity, and a short career for Jay Cutler. Sorry Jay, get out if you can.

  7. leftcoastnative says: Sep 21, 2011 12:01 PM

    Martz favors 7-step drops extensively in his pass offense and that puts even more pressure on the O-Line, RBs and occasionally TEs in the protection packages.

    Maybe, Martz can assist the O-Line and passing game by throwing in some 3-step drops and moving the pocket outside the box rather than having the same set up point too frequently.

    As far as sacks, even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while and when the pass rushers always know where the QB will set up, they just can rush to a spot and find him.

  8. hendeeze says: Sep 21, 2011 12:03 PM

    He had a plan, He just forgot to call it in

  9. taydogg29 says: Sep 21, 2011 12:08 PM

    Ive seen umbrellas that protect better than our o-line! Jerry Angelo is not a football guy!

  10. pigskinswag says: Sep 21, 2011 12:08 PM

    Unless the plan is to get Jay Cutler beat the hell up, then Angelo’s plan needs work.

  11. m00se78 says: Sep 21, 2011 12:11 PM

    “We drafted a player in the first round. We brought in a player with a lot of NFL experience who is still in his prime. We developed young players who are going into their second and third years, including another high draft pick in Chris Williams.”
    ————————————————

    Angelo should be fired for this statement in itself; They brought in Chris Spencer who is on the bench behind Lance Louis, who by many was/is dubbed a “project” at guard and who barely cracked the starting lineup this year.

    They drafted Chris Williams (back problems and all) and he is not even playing the position they drafted him to play; in fact, he is on his tthird different position on the o-line (LT,RT,LG)

    The mere fact he says nobody did more to address their respective offensive lines than the Bears is laughable at best. Angelo has amassed nothing more than a pile of hot garbage to protect Cutler.

  12. jimmysee says: Sep 21, 2011 12:18 PM

    The Bears’ offensive line is failing its essential purpose.

    The team has no chance to implement the Martz offense if the line can not protect the QB.

    Cutler has good cause to be frustrated with it all.

    It would not surprise me to see Jay pull a “Carson Palmer” on the Bears next season.

    Then Caleb Hanie would be the starter and the Bears would be back to square one.

  13. benh999 says: Sep 21, 2011 12:28 PM

    The Bears have an offensive line?

  14. gregjennings85 says: Sep 21, 2011 12:55 PM

    Cutler was a very good QB…when he was behind what was, at the time, a top-5 offensive line in Denver.

    He also had Brandon Marshall to throw to, a guy that I could probably complete at least 3 passes to on a given Sunday, if I lofted the ball 20 feet over his head (right before I ran away from pressure, screaming).

    After seeing him outside of that cushy offensive environment, it’s clear he was not worth all the picks the Bears gave up for him, and up to this point, has not looked as good as Kyle Orton.

    Cutler is in good shape, maybe the best of his career, but he still is not a fast QB by an stretch, and is all but unable to avoid the pass rush.

    In my mind, Angelo is at fault for:

    1.) Overrating Cutler.
    2.) Not getting him anyone to throw to.
    3.) Not getting anyone to protect him.
    a.) Not hitting on offensive line picks.
    b.) Signing Mike Martz, an OC known for punishing his QBs.

    In the same breath, I believe the Bears are at fault for not letting Angelo go sooner.

    At the same time, I am a Packers fan, so I continue to state that I hope Angelo is re-inked to a new, 35 year deal, and is the Bears’ GM until Terminators take over the Earth.

  15. metalhead65 says: Sep 21, 2011 1:01 PM

    the line is a problem no matter what angelo says, as bears fans we get that. but for the love of god stop talking about not bringing kruetz back! that is one thing you gen’t blame angelo on. with him as the anchor they led the league in sacks last year and he has been getting pushed around for the last 3 years! he took less money to sign with the saints so I do not hold the bears responsible for not overpaying him because his teammates liked him. as for the rest of the line I hold angelo and martz responsible for the problems. angelo because he sucks at judging talent and martz because he still thinks he is running the greatest show on turf!the sooner he gets back to calling a balanced attack like he did after the bye week last year the better the bears will be. they went from the worst o.c. of all time in ron turner to the other extreme in martz. all those great plays do not mean anything if cutler does not have time to throw it! stop picking on the receivers as they may not be all pros but get the job done if cutler has time to get them the ball. brady and manning would look bad if they had to play behind this line.hard to blame cutler when the defense gets to him as soon as he gets the snap. just because he is does not suck up to the press does not mean he sucks! like it or not they won the division last year not the packers who barely beat the bears and their third string qb in the championship game. how many td’s did rodgers and that vaunted offense score in the second half of that game? right if not for the 3rd string turnovers they would not have won.and yea they won but stop acting like they dominated the bears because they did not!

  16. lrt79 says: Sep 21, 2011 1:04 PM

    I think the Saints game highlighted a lot more than just offensive line problems for the Bears.

    The other problems are that Devin Hester and Johnny Knox are not starting-quality receivers. They were almost completely shut out (Hester had one catch) by the same Saints secondary that allowed Green Bay to score TD after TD after TD.

    Mike Martz is another major problem. The guy is so in love with his own gameplan that he refuses to see when it’s not working.

    Last season Cutler had a problem getting rid of the ball too quickly. That wasn’t a problem with the Saints, as he would have taken 10+ sacks had he held onto the ball just a quarter of a second longer.

    Finally, it comes down to Jerry Angelo. He traded the immediate future away for Jay Cutler, and he’s done so little to put the right weapons around him that the Bears are doomed to failure. Even when luck and great defense get them to the NFC Championship Game, the offense crumbles. An above-average QB (with the potential to be great), a good RB, a terrible offensive line and a mediocre to below-average set of WRs equals a below-average offense.

    No team in this day and age will win on defense alone. Angelo should know better, and probably does, but he either doesn’t care or is ignorant of the problems on his own team.

    If the Bears tank this season, Angelo and Smith should be fired to make way for the Bill Cowher era of Chicago Bears football.

  17. lrt79 says: Sep 21, 2011 1:08 PM

    Cutler is in good shape, maybe the best of his career, but he still is not a fast QB by an stretch, and is all but unable to avoid the pass rush.
    ———————

    GJ85, Cutler is a fast QB. He had a ton of success working in Shanahan’s moving pocket offense. He’s a scrambling type of QB who can throw on the run.

    But Mike Martz’s offense puts the kibosh on that as well as audibling. Once Martz calls a play, that’s it. That’s the play. If he calls a seven-step drop with an empty backfield and Forte lined up at WR, and Cutler sees the defense getting ready to blitz heavy to the right, he can’t call Forte over to take a handoff to the left. It’s not allowed. And that’s just dumb.

    Martz also complained a ton last season when Cutler would scramble and make plays with his feet. He actually complained that Jay avoided some pressure and got first downs because it wasn’t the play HE called.

    Martz’s signing was a horrific mistake that Jay Cutler will be paying for the rest of his career, and likely life with all the medical problems he’ll have before Martz is ran out of Chicago.

  18. asublimeday says: Sep 21, 2011 1:13 PM

    I said it before the draft, a great GM would’ve gone O-Lineman in each of the first 3 rounds.

  19. asublimeday says: Sep 21, 2011 1:15 PM

    Doesn’t matter if he traded up or down to get value guys, 3 o linemen in the first 3 rounds, maybe another in the 6th or 7th. Protecting jay is priority 1

  20. asublimeday says: Sep 21, 2011 1:20 PM

    “Cutler was a very good QB…when he was behind what was, at the time, a top-5 offensive line in Denver.

    He also had Brandon Marshall to throw to, a guy that I could probably complete at least 3 passes to on a given Sunday, if I lofted the ball 20 feet over his head (right before I ran away from pressure, screaming).

    After seeing him outside of that cushy offensive environment, it’s clear he was not worth all the picks the Bears gave up for him, and up to this point, has not looked as good as Kyle Orton.

    Cutler is in good shape, maybe the best of his career, but he still is not a fast QB by an stretch, and is all but unable to avoid the pass rush.

    In my mind, Angelo is at fault for:

    1.) Overrating Cutler.
    2.) Not getting him anyone to throw to.
    3.) Not getting anyone to protect him.
    a.) Not hitting on offensive line picks.
    b.) Signing Mike Martz, an OC known for punishing his QBs.

    In the same breath, I believe the Bears are at fault for not letting Angelo go sooner.

    At the same time, I am a Packers fan, so I continue to state that I hope Angelo is re-inked to a new, 35 year deal, and is the Bears’ GM until Terminators take over the Earth.”
    ———-

    You’re high. Cutler is as fast as Aaron Rogers. Watch a game other than Bears/Packers.

  21. jutts says: Sep 21, 2011 1:20 PM

    The only thing I want to hear out of Angelo’s mouth is he is retiring. He sucks at evaluating players. The players he brings in are questionable at best. His draft picks are of n0 use. They are either hurt when he “steals” them, or they just flat out suck. Jerry and his “buddy” Ruskell are both two luckiest guys in Football. Getting paid big money to be just plain stinky. Hell, anyone can do that.
    Please George Mckaskey. Please,drop the hammer and get a real Football guy to run this once proud team.

  22. asublimeday says: Sep 21, 2011 1:21 PM

    Is Tice a viable option at OC?

  23. lrt79 says: Sep 21, 2011 1:24 PM

    That’s silly. Offensive linemen in the first three rounds? hah!

    Angelo can’t get through a draft without 1) a DT (Paea) 2) a guy with injuries issues (Paea) 3) a safety too high (Conte) 4) a QB to “train” but who will never play a snap in the NFL (Enderle).

    Gotta make sure that checklist is taken care of before we focus on things like “needs.”

  24. mdd913 says: Sep 21, 2011 1:44 PM

    The problem with the Bears OL is not simply personnel, it’s scheme. Martz has no intentions of ever adjusting his precious offense to fit the players he has.

    Garza and Carimi are solid players. They obviously need some help, but they could have a decent line with a veteran FA signing and some good gameplanning.

  25. sfkforever says: Sep 21, 2011 1:49 PM

    the only explanation i have is…jerry angelo has pics of virgina mcaskey nude and in uncompromising positions!!!…has to be

  26. koolbreeze7 says: Sep 21, 2011 1:51 PM

    Cutler is poo! Da Bears are who we thought they were…..but Da SAINTS didn’t let ‘em off da hook!

  27. sullijo1 says: Sep 21, 2011 1:59 PM

    It seems like proportionately less blame is put on Cutler than other QBs for team problems.

    In Denver, for example, Orton has a rookie right tackle, a 2nd year center and a 2nd year guard….his most seasoned O-linemen is in his 5th year. NoShow Moreno is a joke of a running back. His receivers are named Decker, Willis and Tebow (yes, him). His TE is a rookie. Oh yeah, their defense sucks too especially without Dumerville, DJ Williams, and Champ Bailey.

    Yet, not “winning by enough” against Cincy is blamed on him. Is this because Bronco fans are less versed in the details of the NFL than Bears fans?

  28. schemefactory says: Sep 21, 2011 2:16 PM

    bears=comedy

  29. lrt79 says: Sep 21, 2011 2:18 PM

    No, Sulli, it’s Orton isn’t flashy. He’s the best QB Denver has, but because Tebow has all the hype around him some fans will clamor until he starts.

    If Cutler had thrown 2 or more interceptions against the Saints, you’d be seeing a lot more negativity thrown his way. But he didn’t.

  30. pigskinswag says: Sep 21, 2011 3:09 PM

    benh999 says:
    Sep 21, 2011 12:28 PM
    The Bears have an offensive line?
    ___________________________________

    ALLEGEDLY they have an offensive line.

  31. pigskinswag says: Sep 21, 2011 3:13 PM

    It’s very simple folks:

    Jerry Angelo = Matt Millen 2.0

    The fact that he employs Roy Williams, Mike Martz, and Rod Marinelli confirms this equation.

  32. schmitty2 says: Sep 21, 2011 3:43 PM

    I’m sure Cutler would beg to differ. He spent so much time on his back last week he had time to check out every tile of the Superdome roof

  33. kevcanx says: Sep 21, 2011 4:03 PM

    Was this Jerry Angelo talking or Matt Millen?, at least Millen makes sense as a NFL Network Commentator, Angelo has nowhere to go once to Bears fire him and put him out his misery as Bears gm.

  34. Parttime Guru says: Sep 22, 2011 12:44 AM

    Drafting a right tackle and signing a center who, while a starter, was hardly a name player or a star counts as doing “everything you could possibly do to that position?”

    Really?

    I think I see the problem.

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