Bears coach Lovie Smith had not spoken publicly about the January firing of general manager Jerry Angelo, the man who hired him in 2004, until this week at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
"We know in our profession what's at stake always, and changes can happen at any time," Smith said. "I'm here primarily because of what Jerry Angelo did for me, giving me an opportunity, leading the charge to give me the opportunity to be the head football coach here. I can't necessarily say (I'm) surprised (about the firing). I don't think any coach or G.M. in the league is surprised about anything that happens.
"Jerry did an awful lot for us, but you move on, and that's what we've done. Jerry will be fine. He's a lifetime friend, but you do move on."
In moving on, it would seem that Smith could be more involved in pro personnel decisions, given that new G.M. Phil Emery’s area of expertise is in college scouting.
"I was involved in the past,” Smith said. “(But) Phil is my boss. I worked together well with Jerry in the past and will do the same thing with Phil. There are a lot of things we have going on right now, but we're excited about getting the perfect mix on that 53-man roster, I should say that 61-man roster (including the eight-man practice squad).
“Phil has jumped in right now and again he knows quite a bit about our organization to start off with. I'm just pleased with how it’s initially gone."