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McCaskey: Angelo was Phillips' decision

Ted Phillips made the decision to fire general manager Jerry Angelo, according to Bears chairman George McCaskey. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The romantic version of the Chicago Bears' new power structure in the post-Jerry Angelo era portrays Chairman of the Board George McCaskey as a hands-on owner, interested in making key football decisions to help shape the future of the organization.

That couldn't be further from the truth, according to McCaskey, who on Tuesday singled out Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips as the driving force behind the ouster of the club's long-time general manager.

"Let me correct the misconception; it was Ted's decision," McCaskey said. "He asked for my input. I gave it to him. I gave him the input of the rest of the ownership, and Ted made the decision which we fully support.

"Under our organizational structure, ownership selects the president and CEO. The president and CEO, in consultation with ownership, selects the general manager. The general manager, in consultation with the president and ownership, selects the head coach."

The prevailing feeling at Halas Hall following the 31-minute press conference in response to the firing of Angelo, was that Phillips and coach Lovie Smith wield the bulk of the power in the building. While McCaskey is certainly involved to a certain extent in the organization's decision-making process, he claims not to be interested in using his authority to personally usher in sweeping changes.

"I said when I became chairman that I didn't feel any particular need to place a personal stamp on the Bears, that my job was to work with and in support of the president and CEO, and that's what happened in this case," McCaskey said. "Ted consulted me, I supported his decision as does our entire family."