For the earlier part of the 2010-2011 NFL season Chicago Bears tickets were sold out thanks to a 7-3 start by the team. Many viewed the Bears to win again the National Football Conference North Division due to their solid start but an injury to star quarterback Jay Cutler doomed the team’s chance for the playoffs. When Cutler broke his thumb against the San Diego Chargers on November 20, 2011, the Bears lost all of their momentum and ended up losing five of their last six games. From a much improved offensive team, Chicago became a dismal squad in the absence of Cutler. What the Bears turned out be without their quarterback shows how important the six-year veteran is and how good he is. Cutler is like the Michael Jordan to the Chicago Bulls, without him they would never be crowned champions.
After a rough ending to their season, the Chicago Bears management decided to relieve General Manager Jerry Angelo from his duties. Angelo was hired back in 2001 and during his 11-year tenure as the head of football operations, the Bears got four division titles and appeared in two NFC Championship games as well as in one Super Bowl. Experts around the entire NFL view the questionable draft record and inability to fill big holes especially on the offensive side led to Angelo’s ouster as general manager. After the announcement that Angelo was fired, no replacement has been announced during the press conference held on January 3. One of the people seen as the successor of Angelo is Chicago’s director of player personnel Tim Ruskell, who is a close friend of the recently fired GM. Other candidates include for Indianapolis Colts’ vice chairman Bill Polian, Green Bay Packers’ director of football operations Reggie McKenzie, Sheldon White of the Detroit Tigers, Les Snead of the Atlanta Falcons, Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals, and Eric DeCosta of Baltimore Ravens.
Among the candidates mentioned, McKenzie is seen as the most likely successor of the vacant post for the Bears. Aside from his proven track record which includes two Super Bowl titles with the Packers, he is also reportedly close with Bears coach Lovie Smith. It is still unknown though whether Smith would have a role on the selection process of the new GM.
After the firing of Angelo, other personnel moves made by the Bears involved its coaching staff. Team president Ted Phillips, though, said that it was Smith’s decision to remove offensive coordinator Mike Martz and quarterbacks coach Shane Day. The announcement of this came hours after the departure of Angelo as GM.
Despite the disappointing season, there are still reasons to smile for the Bears fans. Five Chicago players were selected to play in the Pro Bowl to be held on January 29 in Hawaii. It includes Charles Tillman, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Matt Forte, and Corey Graham. Urlacher, though, would skip this one due to a knee injury.
With these changes from the team, the management sees these as step towards more sales of Chicago Bears tickets next season and much improved team offensively and defensively.
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