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January

Big Changes Coming in 2012 for Packers’ Rivals to the South

Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz resigned on Tuesday.

There may not be drastic personnel changes for the Chicago Bears in 2012, but two of the more recognizable faces in the team’s organization won’t be around next season.

On Tuesday, the Bears announced that both general manager Jerry Angelo and offensive coordinator Mike Martz will not be back with the team in 2012. Shane Day is also out as the team’s quarterbacks coach.

Head coach Lovie Smith will be retained for next season, however.

Angelo had just finished his 11th season as Bears’ GM, one that saw Chicago start 7-3 but nosedive to an 8-8 finish after both quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte were lost to season-ending injuries. Angelo did little to remedy the Bears’ situation at quarterback after Cutler went down, instead trusting in Caleb Hanie to get the Bears back into the playoffs for the second-straight year.

Hanie lost all four games he started and was later replaced by Josh McCown, who hadn’t started an NFL game since 2007. The Bears scored 21 or fewer points in each of their final six games of 2011.

Angelo’s failure to lock up Forte over the long term may have also factored into his firing. Forte, a free agent this summer, was unable to come to terms with Angelo over a new contract. The dispute turned public after Forte declined an offer during the 2011 preseason in the range of $13-14 million guaranteed and the entire matter was a lasting issue into the regular season.

News trickled out later that Martz, the Bears offensive coordinator over the last two seasons, had resigned from his position because of philosophical differences with the organization. Day, the Bears quarterback coach who was hired the same day as Martz, is also walking away.

Previously the mastermind behind the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis, Martz often took criticism in Chicago for his handling of Cutler and the offense. Under Martz, the Bears offense never ranked higher than 17th in points scored or 22nd in total yards during the two years.

The Bears will begin the hunt to find replacements for each, but former Colts GM Bill Polian has been rumored for Angelo’s position and offensive line coach Mike Tice could be promoted to coordinator.

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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6 Responses to “Big Changes Coming in 2012 for Packers’ Rivals to the South”

  1. BTF says:

    Suppose the gift that was Mike Martz could only keep giving for so long. Still it’s a crying shame…

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    • Savage57 says:

      But there is hope…The Bears are looking hard at Mike Tice as their OC. Hopefully, if he’s hired he makes sure that the offense commits to playing “Bear Football” and they run 50 times a game. And in doing so they get relegated to the bone pile of NFL dinosaurs as the wide open aerial circuses of today’s game blow past them.

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  2. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    What kind of a GM is going to want to come in while not being able to set his own coach? No one good, that’s for sure. Mr. McCaskey (the new one) just handcuffed his franchise. You can’t fire the previous GM and OC, while not giving power to fire the HC to the new guy.

    The Bares still can’t figure it out.

    Imagine if Harlan had made TT keep the Sherminator and the Dong Slinger? Where would we be? We’d be where the Vikes/Bears currently are.

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  3. Dan says:

    I’m Glad the Packers have stability in the front office

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  4. Turophile says:

    Bearmeat.
    “What kind of a GM is going to want to come in while not being able to set his own coach?”

    Umm. Ted Thompson. He cam on board with Sherman as coach and took over the GM resposibilities. I’m not saying retaining Sherman worked out well, because it didn’t. He and Thompson did not communicate that well and I think that falls mostly on Sherman who chafed under his loss of overall control. McCarthy (and others) say Thompson is an excellent communicator (no, I don’t mean media-wise).

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  5. Turophile says:

    bearmeat. Missed your last sentence where you referenced the ‘Sherminator.

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