Bears notes: Michael McCaskey to step down

Matt Trowbridge

Chicago Bears fans won’t have Michael McCaskey to kick around anymore. The Bears announced Wednesday that McCaskey will step down after 27 years as Chicago’s chairman of the board after the season and be replaced by younger brother George Halas McCaskey, the team’s longtime ticket manager.

Michael McCaskey, 66, also used to be the team president before being re-assigned by his mother, Virginia McCaskey, 12 years ago. His main duties since then have been casting the Bears’ vote at league meetings, but that didn’t keep him from being a frequent scapegoat.

“That’s part of the job,” Michael McCaskey said. “It represents the passion that you always hope your fans have for the team. When you don’t do well, boy, you hear about it. Ultimately, that’s a good thing.”

Bears keeping Olsen

General manager Jerry Angelo described most NFL trades this offseason as “square pegs in round holes.” That might also describe Bears good catch/no block tight end Greg Olsen, but Angelo said the Bears aren’t shopping their 2007 first-round pick.

“Even if he were a square peg in a round hole, he’s still a quality football player,” Angelo said. “If your scheme is oblivious to a player’s talent level, then obviously it’s a poor scheme. Greg Olsen is a fine football player. We’ll find a way.

“What that is and how much playing time, I can’t answer that now. (Offensive coordinator) Mike Martz can’t answer that now.

“But in time, it will get answered.”

Protecting the future

Angelo said the Bears won’t trade any more high draft picks after including this year’s No. 1 in a package for quarterback Jay Cutler and the No. 2 for defensive end Gaines Adams, who died.

“We’re out of that business,” Angelo said. “I don’t want to get cute and keep borrowing in the future with picks.”

Defensive trends help Chicago

Angelo said the switch of more NFL teams to the 3-4 defense and the spread offenses used in college is making it easier for the Bears to find quick defensive tackles for their Cover2 scheme.

“The pendulum is coming back to us,” he said. “A lot of defensive teams, particularly the 3-4, want to read and react. When it’s read and react, then you want a bigger, stronger guy because he is going to absorb the blow of the offensive lineman on the initial snap. We want to react and read. We want a guy who is going to penetrate and get up the field right away, then react to the run, react to the screens, react to the draws.

“The colleges are producing an inordinate amount of leaner, quicker, faster defensive linemen because they have to defend the whole field. It’s advantageous for us to continue on with our scheme, particularly with our front seven.”

Assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge can be reached at: 815-987-1383 or