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Angelo in play: Jets talking to former Bears GM

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Angelo in play: Jets talking to former Bears GM

Former Bears GM Jerry Angelo has some familiarity with working out quarterback issues. So it probably shouldnt be a complete surprise that he is on a short candidate list for the GM spot with the New York Jets, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Mehta tweeted Wednesday night that the Jets will interview Angelo on Thursday. According to Mike Florios roundup at ProFootballTalk.com, Angelo is part of a search process that includes Miami assistant GM Brian Gaine, San Diego director of player personnel Jimmy Raye, 49ers director of player personnel Tom Gamble and New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross, one of the finalists for the Bears GM job that went to Phil Emery.

Let the info flow

The grumblings around the NFL that Phil Emery is using his coaching search to pick the brains of candidates are amusing. For a couple of reasons.

One is that anyone who fails to learn something from candidates being interviewed for a job is an arrogant idiot. Any candidate worth interviewing likely has some good ideas or he shouldnt be in the meeting in the first place.

And if the candidate doesnt know that he is going to divulge solid information, he also doesnt belong in the interview. If answering How would you fix Jay Cutler? or What would you do to fix the Chicago Bears offense? is giving away some sort of competitive information; if Phil Emery has to rely on relative outsiders for those answers, then Emery may not be the guy to be handling this whole thing.

If Emery doesnt already have an idea of how to fix the offense, he should have shared a cab to the airport with Lovie Smith.

But the second point here is that if that if any candidate is not savvy enough to do a reverse-brain-pick, then he is a dolt. If you dont have some good questions for your potential employer, you didnt prepare very well.

A serous candidate should leave his extensive session knowing what Emery will do with Brian Urlacher, Henry Melton and some other key individuals. He should have gotten from Emery an idea of what the Bears intend to do in free agency.

Information flows both ways. Indeed, what candidates might learn about the Bears could far more revealing than what Emery can draw out of them that might help the Bears.

Cause for pause

The death of Mirko Jurkovic late Wednesday to cancer was an occasion for pause. The former Notre Dame guard out of Thornton Fractional North High School was a ninth-round draft choice trying to make the Bears in 1992, and Mirko was one of the first people I met on the first day covering the Chicago Bears.

He didnt make the Bears from a draft class topped by Alonzo Spellman and Troy Auzenne and rookie free agents that included Ed OBradovich, son of Bears great OB, and Jim Schwantz.

Most fans wont really remember Mirko. But sometimes its worth stopping and giving a thought to people who trip lightly and briefly through our lives.

Mitch Musings: Trubisky progressing as he preps to face the gold standard of QBs

Mitch Musings: Trubisky progressing as he preps to face the gold standard of QBs

 Tom Brady has been credited with 54 game-winning drives in his Hall of Fame career, five of which have come in Super Bowls — all five Super Bowls he and Bill Belichick have won. 
 
To put it another way: Brady has engineered a game-winning drive in 18 percent of his regular season and playoff starts, while he’s only lost 22 percent of his career starts. 
 
“He just has this mentality that at the end of the game, they’re going to win because of him,” coach Matt Nagy said. “He’s going to make a special throw.”
 
The expectation for Brady is that he’s going to put together a fourth quarter comeback or a game-winning drive if given the chance. It’s not like he’s a markedly better quarterback in those close-and-late situations — in fact, his lowest passer rating by quarter comes in the fourth. But that rating is 94.2; his career rating is 97.4. Effectively, he’s the same quarterback. 
 
That baseline level of success is, undoubtedly, something for which Mitch Trubisky is striving. But the Bears’ rookie isn’t there yet, as evidenced by his career splits:
 
Fourth quarter: 86/151 (57 percent), 6 TDs, 6 INTs, 71.2 passer rating, 6.0 yards/attempt
Overall: 309/491 (63 percent), 18 TDs, 11 INTs, 86.7 passer rating, 7.0 yards/attempt
 
That factors in 2017, of course, and Trubisky’s numbers from that season aren’t as relevant as the overall experience he gained. There’s a much smaller sample size in 2018, but the fourth quarter downturn is still present:
 
2018 fourth quarter: 22/34 (65 percent), 2 TD, 1 INT, 94.1 passer rating, 7.4 yards/attempt
2018 overall: 113/161 (70 percent), 11 TDs, 4 INTs, 105.6 passer rating, 8.1 yards/attempt
 
The good news, perhaps, is that the gap is closing. That’s an area of progress the Bears needed, and still need, to see in 2018. Trubisky completed eight of 11 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown — and an interception in the end zone — on Sunday in Miami, and very well could’ve been credited with a game-winning drive had Tarik Cohen not fumbled near midfield with under three minutes remaining.
 
But the touchdown he threw to Anthony Miller, too, could’ve been a game-winner had the Bears’ defense not immediately given up a 75-yard touchdown on Miami’s ensuing drive.
 
“We’re continuing to grow and that’s one of those clutch plays that you have to make as an offense to help out the defense and put the team in a good position to win games and it was a big moment and I think a big area of growth for our offense and myself as a quarterback,” Trubisky said. “We’re just gonna have to continue to grow and make those types of plays to be able to give ourselves a chance to win every week.” 
 
Reid It and Weep?
 
The last three times Andy Reid, or an Andy Reid disciple, has faced the Patriots, their team has scored 40 or more points. Reid and Nagy teamed up to drop 42 on New England in 2017’s season opener, and Doug Pederson — Reid’s offensive coordinator prior to Nagy — put up 41 to win Super Bowl LII. On Sunday, Reid’s Chiefs scored 40 in a three-point loss in Foxboro. 
 
Maybe that matters on Sunday at Soldier Field, maybe it doesn’t. But for Trubisky, that Nagy had that success a year ago against New England “for sure” gives him a confidence boost. 
 
“I think coach Nagy knows this opponent very well,” Trubisky said. “I mean, he studies as much tape as anyone throughout the week and he’s had success against this team, so that definitely gives me confidence, and it’s just me and him continuing to communicate and being on the same page. He’s given me a lot of confidence that we’ll be able to move the ball and put up points against these guys this weekend. 
 
“So we just got to continue to take care of the football, be smart, while staying aggressive, but it definitely gives confidence knowing that coach Nags, that he knows these guys pretty well and has had success in the past, but we still got to go out there and do our jobs because the past success doesn’t determine future success. You still got to go out there and execute on the field and we know that.”
 
Belichick is a master of taking away what an opponent does best. But a common thread between those Chiefs and Eagles teams is having multiple weapons, to the point where taking the best one away isn’t a deterrent to scoring. The Bears may not have the same pick-your-poison roster as the Chiefs, who still put up 40 points despite New England muting Travis Kelce’s production on Sunday. 
 
But Trubisky and this offense might be trending that way, if Sunday’s 28-point second half against a good Miami defense is any indication. 
 
One Last Time To Not Count Out Touchdown Tom
 
Back to Brady for one final thought here: Trubisky was seven years old when Brady won his first Super Bowl back in 2002. The Bears’ quarterback probably doesn’t have much memory of an NFL in which Brady hasn’t been regarded as the most successful quarterback in the league.
 
Sunday will mark Brady’s final trip to Chicago in his career, unless he winds up quarterbacking another team (highly unlikely) or playing until he’s 49 (extremely unlikely). While he and Drew Brees and Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger still may have a few good years left in them, and Aaron Rodgers certainly has more than a few good years left, it feels like the quarterbacking torch is finally being passed from those veterans to a young, exciting group of passers like Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes. Trubisky could be part of that not-quite-established-but-close group, too, if what he’s done in the last two games turns out to be sustainable. 
 
So for Trubisky, getting to compete against Brady on Sunday comes as a special opportunity. 
 
“I admire his competitiveness and just following his journey and what he’s had to overcome to be able to get where he’s at,” Trubisky said. “It’s very admirable and doing it this long, this well over a long period of time is pretty incredible. So you always look at that. And what they’ve been able to do. As a quarterback you’re judged by how many games you win and he’s been successful at that as well, so obviously he’s one of the best to do it. And it’s cool to watch his film as well as many other guys over the years, pick up anything you possibly can. Yeah, he’s had a lot of success so you definitely look at what kind of traits he has to be able to lead his teams to that many wins over a long period of time. 
 
“Is it cool? Yeah, for sure. But I think it’s just a testament to him of how he’s been able to do it for this long and still be that successful. And he’s just really been able to push the limits at what can be accomplished at this position and how everybody looks at it. He’s really taken this thing to new levels and it’ll be cool to compete against him on Sunday.” 

QB Power Rankings: Brady and Rodgers stay on-brand

QB Power Rankings: Brady and Rodgers stay on-brand

A game-winning drive against the 5-0 Chiefs on Sunday night. A game-winning, coach's-job-saving drive against the 49ers on Monday night. 

The more things change, the more things stay the same. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers continue to crush souls. Blake Bortles continues to inspire memes. New York's love-hate relationship with Eli Manning trudges on. 

How did your team's QB fare on this week's version of QB Power Rankings? 

You can find out right here.