The Chicago Bears say the decision to fire G.M. Jerry Angelo was simple: They know they’re not the most talented team in the NFC North, and they need to change that.
Bears President & CEO Ted Phillips said at his press conference today that he expects to bring in a General Manager who can build a roster as good as the one that’s been built in Green Bay.
“There’s a lot of factors involved,” Phillips said. “Ultimately, we look at our division and we say, ‘We need to close that talent gap.’ And that’s what we need to do and I think the way to do that right now is a fresh start and a new look at our team.”
Phillips said the new G.M. will have wide leeway to shape the direction of the Bears, but he would not have the authority to fire head coach Lovie Smith.
“The one restriction that will be placed on any candidate will be that Lovie Smith is our head coach for 2012,” Phillips said.
Phillips also said a G.M. candidate who doesn’t think highly of quarterback Jay Cutler would be the wrong fit for this job.
“Our offense goes as far as Jay takes us,” Phillips said. “He’s our franchise quarterback. We love what he brings to the table. And we’re going to do what it takes to make him successful. That’s our goal. . . . I don’t see bringing in a General Manager who doesn’t think that Jay Cutler can lead us to a championship game.”
Although there’s already been some talk in Chicago that Bill and Chris Polian could take over the team, Phillips said any such talk is premature.
“That decision was made before I even heard about Bill Polian’s situation, so that didn’t have any impact,” Phillips said.
Ultimately, Phillips said, the Bears need someone who is going to make them better, and make them better right now.
“Every year is a must-win year,” Phillips said. “We’ve only been in the playoffs once in the last five years and that’s not acceptable, so we’re expecting good things in 2012.”