Pyle Ponders: What Was Angelo Thinking?

The Bears had the 29th ranked offense for a reason, yet general manager Jerry Angelo chose to ignore the unit in the draft. Instead he opted to upgrade one of the best defenses in the game. The Bears missed an opportunity by having a defensive draft.

Angelo has to be the most arrogant person I've ever met in my life. Just listening to what he had to say after the draft put it in perspective. When asked why the Bears hadn't' drafted a tight end, a position they certainly could use some help with, Angelo went on the defensive and basically said that since the Bears hadn't drafted a tight end, we could all be sure there was a good reason for that.

Jerry sounded exactly like a kid on the playground who had just been hit with a mud ball. Should this be the kind of a 'considered' response we get from the GM?

The only possible rationale I could come up with for the Bears draft picks was a sort of reverse psychology. In last year's draft, they went with offensive players. The offense ended up 29th in the league while the Bears defense was right there at the top of the rankings.

For all we know, Angelo had a grand master plan to do the same thing in reverse for 2006. Since the defense was good last year, why not draft defensive players so the offense improves? This is logic that is unique to the Bears organization, I can assure you of that.

And who knows? It just might work, but I doubt it. What frustrates me is that Angelo will get the credit if the Bears have a good season again this year. But if the Bears struggle, hopefully Angelo will also take full blame.

He was correct to say during his press conference Sunday that the Bears haven't had an impact tight end since Mike Ditka. In my view, that's because they haven't had an offensive coordinator capable of devising a plan that would utilize a strong player at that position. It's simple, really. Upgrade the coordinator, improve the tight end, and win some games. That's the way a team moves up in this league. Why can't Angelo see that?

It's pretty basic football. The Bears say they are going to emphasize the running game. OK, but you still need somebody who can block. If they go to the passing game, they need a tight end that can catch passes. Either way it's an important position. Just because Angelo chooses to ignore that, doesn't mean that need suddenly disappears.

Maybe one of the two undrafted free agents will pan out, but that's putting a lot of pressure on two kids not even good enough to be taken in seven rounds.

Jerry, wake up. The NFC North division has changed during the off-season. There are new coaches in place, and the other teams had what I view as a very successful draft. The Bears coasted through with a weak offense against not terribly formidable opposition in 2005. That definitely won't be the case this year. Their draft may have addressed some needs, but overlooking offensive holes could prove to be a fatal mistake.

Stop the excuses and I'm tired of Angelo mentioning over and over again the fact that the Bears have 22 starters returning this year. Jerry, you're still weak on offense. Being a one-dimensional football isn't the way to have a deep run in the postseason. The Bears missed a great opportunity and Angelo took his eye off of the ball.

It's the time of year when everybody knows everything and knows nothing. The media pundits are full of predications and analysis and the part they like best is that for now at least, they're right. Nobody will know for sure if their predictions are correct until these players get out on the field. Jerry's coasting on the temporary tide of hope and good will but I don't think it will last long.

There's not much that we can do right now but wish for the best for the upcoming season. Angelo claimed he addressed the Bears needs and we'll have to believe him-for now. Is this the way to build a "dynasty" for the Bears? Jerry would have you believe so. At this point I'm unconvinced.

Mike Pyle played for the Bears from 1961-69, including a Pro Bowl selection following the '63 season.


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