We spend a lot of time reading between the lines in newspaper reports when writing for this blog. That’s especially true during the offseason when news gets a bit more scarce. So not surprisingly, Dan Pompei‘s interview with Bears President Ted Phillips for the Chicago Tribune provided us with plenty of fodder to go under the microscope.
Sometimes what appear to be little throw in comments tend to get lost in interviews like Pompei’s. For this post I’d like to highlight one at the end of this answer:
“Was there any thought to extending general manager Jerry Angelo‘s contract?
“He is signed through 2013, which puts him on the same time frame as [head coach] Lovie [Smith]. With three years to go, that’s premature. But he feels total support from the organization, as he should. I’ve been happy with the job he’s done, and I love how he and Lovie get along.”
I like Angelo and as GM’s go the Bears could certainly do worse. But, as anyone who reads this blog knows, that doesn’t mean I’m always his biggest backer. That’s why this comment gave me some pleasure.
If there is one critical thing Angelo has going for him its his ability to work effectively with everyone up and down the organization. Its far from the only necessary thing but it is the first necessary thing if you are going to get things done. Angelo is a consensus builder and “getting along” with Smith – and everyone else – in an environment where opinions are like [rear end]-holes can’t be easy.
I like the fact that Phillips thought it necessary to bring this up out of nowhere at the end this question. It shows that its on his mind and, because Pompei didn’t specifically ask him about it, it makes it less likely that its just a politically correct answer given for public consumption without the ring of truth.
I won’t say that it means the organization is healthy. But it is a good sign that if its not the potential to be so is still there. Without a good relationship with Lovie Smith, Angelo’s job is hopeless.