At some point its a safe story to write, that Bears GM Jerry Angelo is going to retire. Thats what 60-somethings talk about and do at some point in the natural order of things (just trust me on this one).
But barring a monumental shift of Halas Hall thinking, Angelo will not be leaving after this season. That was subtly apparent in comments the GM made in Denver about making a run at a championship in 2012 and has become even clearer from conversations with various sources within the organization.
Two main indicators:
One is the next year thinking that already is underway and has been for some time. To cite precedent here: At the end of a miserable stretch of an injury-marred 1997, then-coach Dave Wannstedt told confidants that he knew he was being brought back for the 1998 season because of late-season meetings and discussions with President and CEO Michael McCaskey that dealt with the plans for 98.
Michael McCaskey is no longer running the Bears but Angelo is deeply involved in the 2012 planning. A lame-duck would not be.
And two, Angelos relationship with new Chairman George McCaskey is excellent, not something to be taken lightly. Angelo holds McCaskey in high regard, and McCaskey has quietly changed the culture within the Bears, with numerous examples of little things that have made impressions on Angelo and others top to bottom in the organization.
McCaskey has moved his office next to Angelos and takes an active chairman role without being a meddler. Where Michael once served as his own de facto GM, critiquing film on Mondays with Wannstedt, George does none of that but has made clear mission statements about the importance of winning, something that was given lip service in times past. No one is taking them as that now.
Angelo has gotten the Bears their franchise quarterback (Jay Cutler) and defensive lineman (Julius Peppers). He will be given the resources for significant moves again this year, as well discuss later this week.
If those dont work out, then therell be reason for discussion, because George McCaskey is serious about winning. But for now, the course is laid in.
Anthony Miller has quickly become a fan favorite on social media. He has the confidence and swagger found in most top wide receivers and it comes through on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Miller was one of 40 players in attendance at the 2018 NFLPA Rookie Premiere where he not only learned about the business and marketing side of football, but also suited up in his Bears gameday uniform for the first time. Of course, he shared the moment on Twitter:
Panini America, a sports collectible company, snapped a picture of Miller with fellow rookie receiver Calvin Ridley (Falcons) and quarterback Mason Rudolph (Steelers):
Miller has become something of a standout for the Bears despite not playing a single snap. He's expected to have a big role in an offense that has several new pieces and roles that are up for grabs.
Miller will compete with former first-round pick Kevin White and free-agent addition Taylor Gabriel for reps opposite Allen Robinson. Miller has the necessary skill set to play as both an outside receiver and in the slot which should give him an even greater opportunity to be on the field quite a bit.
The Bears first three draft picks are all vying for starting jobs in 2018. Roquan Smith (first round) is a lock to start next to Danny Trevathan and James Daniels (second round) will start at guard. Miller should make it three-for-three in a draft class that could end up the best of Ryan Pace's tenure.
Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace is having what many believe is his best offseason since taking the job in 2015, but after three seasons and only 14 wins, he needs a big year in 2018 to justify the confidence ownership has in him.
According to a recent breakdown of all 32 general managers, Pace ranks among the worst decision-makers in the league.
No. 23: Ryan Pace, Chicago Bears
There’s only so much you can accomplish in one spring. The problem is that Pace let himself accumulate so many needs to begin with. He needs Trubisky and Nagy to springboard a fourth-year turnaround.
The rankings didn't include six new GM hires, which makes Pace's positioning even more troubling.
Even though the Bears haven't seen wins on the field, Pace has done a solid job through three draft classes and appears to have the right coaching staff in place. His first hire, John Fox, was a calculated move by a rookie general manager to have an experienced football guy to lean on. Now, several offseasons later, the team is starting to take on his identity.
Despite all the talent Pace has added through the draft and the slow but steady transformation of the team's overall culture, it's a win-now business and if his blueprint doesn't start producing more wins than losses, it will be hard to justify more time and patience for his plan to develop.