Closing “Talent Gap” Impetus Behind Changes: Phillips

Changes are coming fast and furious at Halas Hall Tuesday

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Closing a talent gap was the impetus behind personnel changes that made for a "difficult day" at Halas Hall, Chicago Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips said Tuesday.

"There's a lot of factors involved. Ultimately, we look at our division and say, 'We need to close that talent gap,' and that's what we need to do, and I think the way to do that, right now, is a fresh start and a new look at our team," he said in talking to reporters about the departure of Jerry Angelo as the team's general manager


He said the decision to let Angelo go was made Monday and that the search for his replacement has already begun.

"I’m going to miss him but at the same time we need more," said Phillips.

The only restriction on Angelo's successor is that Lovie Smith remains the coach through 2012.

On Smith, Phillips offered praise.

"Ultimately, we felt that Lovie is the right head coach for this team. We like his staff that's in place," he said.

"There's a lot of candidates out there that would be proud to work with a coach like Lovie Smith, and when they take a look at the staff he has and some of the success we've had and some of the players we have in place, I don't think it's going to be an issue at all."

Angelo's departure was announced just hours before Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz resigned from the team. Phillips cited "philosophical differences."

Martz turned down a contract extension earlier in the year. His contract, valued at $1 million per year, expired at the end of the season.

Angelo was hired in 2001 and led the team to four division titles, two NFC Championship appearances and one Super Bowl loss during his 11 years.

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