Always good to drop in and visit with Danny Mac and The McNeil and Spiegel Show on WSCR-AM 670 every Thursday at 10, this morning with Lawrence Holmes in for Matt. Usually Lawrence and I are chatting Bears just turning our chairs around in the Halas Hall press room but this works.
The Bears GM search is obviously front-burner and an obvious variable here is Ted Phillips. The Bears president is directing the screening process and doubters will point to his not being a football guy and how informed will his choices be.
Im not sure how critical to be of that yet. A plus within the Bears organization is that since Michael McCaskey was moved out of the presidents chair, the front office doesnt meddle in football operations. Thats a good thing; it means you dont have Dallas, or Washington.
Whether Phillips acted impulsively or too quickly in dumping Jerry Angelo can be debated. But hes typically been thorough in business dealings, and it would be out of character for him to make a rash hire. He didnt in the case of Angelo and I suspect he wont now, and I would argue that there have been far worse GMs than Angelo with his four division titles and two trips to NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl qualifier.
Mac and Lawrence wondered how involved Lovie Smith is in the process, and I have had no inklings that he has been a hands-on part of the interview process; hes not sitting next to Phillips in the interviews. He doesnt have that kind of juice at this point unless asked, which he will be for his opinion on each. Besides, hes got his own staffing issues to resolve as well as player evaluations.
On that score, Lawrence mused about the passing-game coordinator possibilities. Weve both been around receivers coach Darryl Drake enough to appreciate Drakes personality, which I see as a mesh with O.C. (for now, anyway) Mike Tice. And Drake was O.C. at Baylor at one time. So while Greg Olsen has the NFL experience as coordinator, if youre looking for a straight-shooter in what he thinks, hard to beat Darryl Drake.
Picking the championshipers
As for the weekends outlook, I thought the New York Giants were a better team than the Green Bay Packers even if I was surprised at the way Green Bay schemed on defense, or rather, failed to scheme. I dont think San Francisco will be as cooperative as the Packers, which is why I see Jim Harbaugh in the Super Bowl he never reached as a Bears quarterback.
And New England-Baltimore? How do you pick against Tom Brady in Foxboro? The Ravens got to their Super Bowl with a mediocre quarterback (Trent Dilfer) because Ray Lewis was in his pure prime, which hes not now. Well see this weekend.