LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- There was a ton to digest during the hour-long press conference at Halas Hall. Here are some of the highlights from the principle players.
Bears CEO Ted Phillips:"After discussions with both Jerry [Angelo], Lovie [Smith] and ownership, the conclusion was that Jerry and Lovie still know what it takes to win. They both brought us a championship-contending team. They did it together. There are aware of the mistakes that were made, and they're welcoming change."
Phillips: "We expect to win now in 2010. This isn't a long-term project in my eyes."
Phillips: "It has not crossed my mind that we are rewarding mediocrity. We're frustrated like everyone else is, and we're making changes. The changes that are being made now are not insignificant."
Phillips:"I met with Virginia [McCaskey] and Michael [McCaskey] on the ownership side of things."
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo:"We're in a business of evolvement. You have to evolve. There is no more status quo in our league. The one thing I'm becoming more and more clear in my own mind (about), is that you have to stay ahead of the curve. You can lay the best plan on paper coming in, and I thought our plan coming in was a very good plan looking at the additions versus the subtractions. I look back at it, there really isn't anything I would have changed, and I'm not saying that trying to be obstinate or defending anything we did. I would make those same decisions going forward if they were presented to me. But they didn't work. That's obvious."
Angelo: " I myself did not talk to anybody (potential big-name head coaches) personally."
Angelo: "There were games this year that were over by halftime. A big part of it was our defense. I'm concerned about that. We have issues that we have to deal with on defense. Scheme, personnel, yes, we don't have as many dominating players on defense to do the things we did in past years."
Angelo: "Nobody has 100 percent the answer. There are no guarantees on everything. Everything evolves. These are decisions. There's a lot of gray in these decisions. You have opinions. If you were held accountable, some of you, on some of the opinions you give, you wouldn't have a crayon in your hand."
Bears head coach Lovie Smith: "I'm excited to remain in my position as head football coach of the Chicago Bears. I think I'm remaining in the position because ownership, administration, the powers-to-be have confidence that we can get the Bears back on top."
Smith: "A lot is being placed on the [defensive] scheme. Every team in the league plays Cover 2, we're basically all playing the same thing. It's gap control. That's what defense is. The person (new defensive coordinator) coming in, I would like for him to have some of the similar beliefs that I have."
Smith: "We've been in a position where we've won with the things (defensive scheme) we believe in. So why can't we get back? We can."
Smith: "There were times during the year where I said to myself, I wish I had someone else in this role (defensive coordinator) so I can concentrate on a couple of other things."