Jerry Angelo was on The Score earlier this afternoon with Boers and Bernstein. Here are few of his most interesting comments:
Dan Bernstein: Did Devin Hester make more money by holding out?
Jerry Angelo: Well, a lot more than he would have made by playing under his original contract. It was very difficult, given that we’re betting on what he can be as a receiver. We paid him handsomely as a return specialist and we wanted to take that into account because we do want to continue to develop him as a receiver. So, that was the real challenge in doing this deal, was how do we build the contract that potentially will reward what he can be but protect the club’s downside in the event that he just continues being what he is… the hardest thing about that is there’s no comparables. In all other positions, you have comparables. The common ground is finding the neighborhood that we both agree that our player is in. We weren’t able to do that; he owned his own neighborhood… We said, “Really, Devin, we’re better off waiting another year.” His agent said it, we said it, but Devin wanted to do something this year… I said, “Devin, if you’re the player you think you are, then you have to be willing to bet on yourself a little bit, too. It’s got to be a two-way street. You have two years left on your contract. You can’t get a great deal; it’s impossible to get a great deal. You’re gonna get a good deal, we’re motivated to do it, but the club’s got to have some protection, too.”
Terry Boers: Well, as the way I look at this, if this is correct, that really in terms of him returning any kind of kicks, it’s very limited this year, if at all. Is that the plan?
Angelo: No, absolutely not. I really don’t know how it’s all going to evolve. That’s going to be determined, obviously, by Devin, the coaches. We just have to wait and see. We know this, too: probably going into the year, you’re probably going to see people not kick to him as much, so his opportunities will probably be less. Maybe we’re getting the best of both worlds, he’s not going to have the returns he had last year, so maybe we can play him more on offense. I told him this, though: “There’s never been a player in the history of football that was the number one returner and the number one receiver. It just doesn’t happen. The demands are too great.”
Bernstein: Are there really really good teams that actually figure out who their starting quarterback is this time of the year?
Angelo: You know, we have two starters. We’ve won with both of these players as starters. I’ve said this, when you have a quarterback controversy, it means you don’t have one. We have two quarterbacks, we know who they are, we have the familiarity with the system. These two guys are playing a game every day they go out to practice. They’re in great shape, I can see it in their eyes, their body language. If everybody is competing the way these two are competing every day, we’ve got the chance to be a great team. I’m not really concerned about the quarterback position.
Boers: You might be the only one, outside the people in this camp, that really feel that positively about your quarterbacks. I don’t know if the average Bears fan walking down the street is really happy about either one of them at this point.
Angelo: We’re in the risk-reward business. When you say, what are my options? We looked at our options; this was our best option. You’ve got to go with that. It’s not a perfect world, but we feel good about knowing our people, and because of that, we still see the arrow going up with both those players. We went into the draft saying an offensive tackle and a running back were needs, and we had to address those needs. And if we didn’t have the running back as a need, we might have pulled the trigger on a quarterback.
Angelo on Cedric Benson:
“The one thing I learned in this business is you’ve got to learn by your mistakes. And you’re gonna make them; it’s just the nature of the business… When you preach team you do the best you can do, you feel like you let people down. You let ownership down, you let your team down. You brought somebody in here that had the visibility of being the number one pick and he didn’t produce. That sends a bad message to the fans, that sends a bad message to ownership.”
You can listen to the full interview on 670thescore.com at this link.