Bears ax GM Angelo, keep Smith as coach

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Bears borrowed a page from the Colts in end-of-season house cleaning: fire the GM and keep the coach.

Chicago won four division titles and reached the Super Bowl while Jerry Angelo was general manager. The Bears also crumbled in a big way this season.

So Angelo, a former Bucs director of player personnel, was fired Tuesday after 11 seasons. Coach Lovie Smith, a Bucs assistant from 1996-2000, will remain.

The Bears started 7-3 then finished 1-5, its fall marked by injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte and a drug scandal involving Sam Hurd.

One day after the Colts parted with vice chairman Bill Polian and his son, GM Chris, the Bears called for change after an 8-8 season.

Bears president Ted Phillips said Smith would keep his job, adding, "The one restriction that will be placed on any candidate is Lovie Smith's our head coach for 2012."

Phillips said he decided to let Angelo go on Monday and informed him the following morning.

"There's a lot of factors that I really don't want to get into all the delineation out of respect for Jerry because he's brought a lot to this team," Phillips said. "Ultimately, I want to bring in a general manager who understands Lovie's philosophy."

Angelo, signed through the 2013 season, also was an assistant coach at the University of Tampa when the Spartans had a football program.

The Bears also said offensive coordinator Mike Martz and quarterbacks coach Shane Day won't be back. Martz had an expiring contract, and there had been speculation he would be gone after two seasons.

Other comings and goings around the league:

• Chargers president Dean Spanos said coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith would be retained though San Diego missed the playoffs for the second straight season.

• Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie said coach Andy Reid will return for his 14th season, though he left open the possibility for changes on the coaching staff. But owner Jeffrey Lurie said at a news conference: "If I didn't think next year would be substantially better, I'd be standing up here announcing a coaching change."

• The Vikings elevated Rick Spielman to general manager, promoting him from vice president of player personnel, which had been since May 2006.

• A San Francisco radio station reported that the Raiders fired defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan but the team denied it, according to Profootballtalk.com.

• The Miami Herald reported that the Dolphins recently contacted former Bucs coach Jon Gruden to gauge his interest in their coaching job — and that he was not interested.

BROWNS: Coach Pat Shurmur would not commit to quarterback Colt McCoy as his starter in 2012, leaving the team's plans open for speculation. McCoy started 13 games before sustaining a concussion and missing the last three.

JETS: The league is looking into an obscene gesture linebacker Bart Scott made toward a photographer in the locker room as the players cleaned out their lockers on Monday.

Bears ax GM Angelo, keep Smith as coach 01/03/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 10:27pm]

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