We're poised to learn a lot about the guy pulling the strings for the Bears.
I'm not talking about Caleb Hanie and his mediocre quarterbacking skills. (He's a backup for a reason, people. A better-than-average backup capable of winning a few games, but a backup nonetheless.)
No, I'm talking about Jerry Angelo. With Jay Cutler out, the home stretch of this season will be the general manager's saving grace or his last hurrah.
A 7-4 record in a tepid NFC should be enough of a head start for a team with enough talent to make the playoffs. If the Bears collapse and miss the postseason, Angelo should be the first one held accountable.
My ears are burning already, as five weeks from now either the GM or his detractors will be squawking up a storm.
Scenario 1: The Bears crash and burn against substandard competition (save for Green Bay).
Angelo haters then will say: "We told you this offense needed an elite receiver. Imagine how much better Hanie could have played with an imposing target on the outside.
"We told you the deficiencies on the offensive line would come back to bite this team. Human pinatas make terrible passers, Jerry. What were you thinking drafting a lineman with a history of injury problems, anyway?
"And when were you going to realize a team built on speed needs reliable footing? Artificial turf. Look into it."
Scenario 2: The Bears stomp on their remaining competition like Ndamukong Suh. Er, not literally, of course. That would be bad.
Angelo then can say: "I brought Julius Peppers here, and he's still tearing quarterbacks apart. I put these special teams units together, and look at all the havoc they wreaked.
"That offensive line helped Matt Forte put up numbers worthy of an All-Pro, thank you very much. Whose decision was it to let Olin Kreutz go, by the way? Oh yeah, mine.
"And as for artificial turf, you can kiss my grass."
In the meantime, no matter what happens these last five games, the refrain's the same for both sides:
"Hurry back, Jay."
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