Angelo On Pursuing Free Agent Guard/Tackle: ‘It Didn’t Work Out’
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(WSCR) Not surprisingly, the Bears’ offensive line has dominated the headlines in training camp.
Clearly the weakness of the Bears last season, it was obvious the line needed to be upgraded in the offseason. General Manager Jerry Angelo made to moves to address the needs on the offensive line: He drafted tackle Gabe Carimi in the first round and he signed center/guard Chris Spencer after letting Olin Kreutz go.
Many fans are wondering why the Bears didn’t do more and Angelo admitted Thursday he did want to do more.
“We wanted to get a player that could play both positions — the guard and the tackle position — to give us the versatility and we wanted to get a quality offensive lineman in here with some seasoning,” Angelo said on The Mully and Hanley Show. “Particularly when we drafted Gabe Carimi in the first round. We have a young offensive line and that was in part our thinking. It didn’t work out and we picked up Chris Spencer. We’re really happy with Chris. We do have Roberto Garza so we do have experience on our line. It’s just something we looked at and pursued and everything happens for a reason and we feel good about how it worked out for us.”
LISTEN: Jerry Angelo on The Mully and Hanley Show
Angelo confirmed the Bears pursued tackle Willie Colon, who re-signed with the Steelers.
“We are going to look at any good player that we feel can upgrade our football team. Certainly we felt Colon could do that and there were several others too,” Angelo said. “That was the one that people talked about but we talked about other players. We had other conversations with agents about other players.”
But, when the free agent frenzy ended, the Bears’ only offensive line pick-up was Spencer and it came at the cost of Kreutz, who left for New Orleans. Spencer has been working with the Bears’ second-team offense, raising questions as to how good he’ll actually be for the Bears, but Angelo explained why the center/guard hasn’t been named a starter yet.
“Given the fact that we did not have an offseason — and you can’t minimize those 10 weeks that our players are working together with our coaches — we lost all that. Chris has really had no exposure to our system so literally when we got here, we had to hit the ground running,” Angelo said. “As Chris continues to learn our offense, to learn our system, he’ll be fine if that’s the direction we want to go. We just wanted to get a good player still in his prime with playing history … I didn’t come out and say he was going to be our starting center. We just wanted another player in the mix.”