Reading Between The Lines: George Flexed His Muscle

If you look at all the managers/coaches that have won championships in Chicago, there's one characteristic they all had in common. No, it wasn't that they had superior talent or that they made timely game time decisions that won the ball game... they all had mustaches. The power of the mustache. Chicago is known for it's blue-collar, lunch pail attitude and having a mustache goes hand-in-hand.

In all seriousness, in the Bears' press conference to announce the Angelo's firing, George McCaskey quickly deferred all the responsibility of firing Jerry Angelo to Ted Phillips. I'm not sure I believe that but it was the right thing to do. If you look at all front office's organizational chart, Lovie Smith reported up to Angelo and Angelo reported up to Phillips. Phillips reports up to George.

Phillips asks the McCaskeys for money to sign players per the recommendation of Angelo. All the decisions made for the team is Phillips' responsibility but George approves it.

Forget the "who makes more money" and the "who really runs this team" argument, there still is a hierarchy. Smith doesn't control the team. Angelo didn't either. Phillips manages the income and serves as the barrier between the front office and the McCaskeys. George is the final decision maker.

Here's what probably happened. George called Phillips into a end-of-season meeting. They discussed the current state of the team. They talked about the collapse and what needed to change. The conversation probably led to the current roster, ultimately leading to Angelo's core responsibility.

The conversation probably concluded with George telling Phillips that he thinks Angelo should get fired and asked Phillips what he thinks. Phillips then (probably) agreed and was given George's blessing after George told Phillips that the McCaskeys will take the financial hit.

George has also said that he doesn't feel the need to place his stamp on this franchise. Yes he does. He was named after the league and team's founder. We all knew Mike Martz was going to be the fall guy but most of us didn't think Angelo would go. Most of us wanted him to go but given the franchise's "reputation", no one really thought it would really happen, at least this year.

George McCaskey has arrived. Now the fun begins.

Bear Down!

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  • If the press conference is any indication, George arrived with maybe about as much muscle as putting Mary Kate Olsen at right offensive tackle.

    Ted isn't looking for a general manager--he's looking for Lovie Smith's scouting assistant. As others have pointed out, did Ricketts say that the new hire has to keep Quade? Of course, Lovie is about 20 times as expensive as Quade, so that's the bottom line, which is why Ted said it.

    After all, people were saying 3.5 years ago "why did they fire Savard only after 4 games?" And that was still while Tallon was there, and he was also soon gone.

    They probably won't get anyone good interested, and they sure won't change the culture if the second condition is "you gotta have chemistry with Lovie." Will he even have authority to make a coaching change in two years, or even have the willpower to do it? Nah.

    And of course, to add clarity to all of this, there was the b.s. yesterday whether Martz, whose contract clearly wasn't renewed "walked away" or was "fired by Lovie." Maybe The Bears can hire some unemployed PR people from the CTA.

    In this environment, the organization chart means nothing. Even if some people have authority, business classes also say that the important ones are the ones with power or influence. That name today is Lovie, at least according to his two "higher ups" in the hierarchy.

  • i disagree. live is the coach for this season. there's no changing that. but the same as angelo fired jauron 2 seasons in (how can you fire a coach after a 13-3 season?), i believe our new gm will be able to choose whether or not lovie stays around after this season.

    as far as the martz thing goes, though, you're spot on. why not just say "The Bears didn't renew his contract because he most likely shouldn't have been hired in the first place."

    still, i'll always wonder how long the team could've kept up that 30-point-a-game pace (yes, i know the offense had little to do with the 30+ points in detroit, but i'm ignoring that fact.)

  • In reply to evantonio:

    "live is the coach for this season. "

    Actually, dead is the coach, or at least sleeping, as in his commercial.

    If they can't get the play in to Cutler next season, and take an untimely time out or a 5 yard delay of game penalty, who are they going to blame then?

  • Live. Lovie. Future generations will judge us by our typos.

    The inept communication really pissed me off. Why did plays have to go from Martz to Day to Cutler? Why not a direct line? Did Martz and Cutler really hate each other that much? Or do NFL rules say you must be on the sideline to have a direct line to the QB's headphones?

    Whatever the case may be, this is a problem that best be eradicated next season. Maybe we use Oregon's system of holding up big flashcards on the sideline?

  • In reply to evantonio:

    You think that Suh or Jared Allen can't read a sign saying "Drop back and throw to Bennett?"

    Of course, why they used this indirect method of communications is beyond me. Maybe Cutler should just have an arm band cheat sheet.

  • i don't think suh or allen can crack this kind of code:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/gallery/enlargePhoto?id=5996557&story=5995802

    arm band wouldn't have solved much. it would help, as "37" is easier to relay than "split Y 400 X leftover brisket hot" (clearly made up), but i'm sure there still would've been time issues as martz would think he could take those extra few seconds since he now only had to relay a number.

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