Now that the NFL's regular season has come to an end, some of this year's also-rans are already searching for new identities, new beginnings, and new management. The coaching carousel can be volatile, especially at the start of the off-season, but the problems run deeper for some struggling franchises. There are currently four vacancies in the front office, and as the Rams, Colts, Raiders, and Bears seek out G.M. candidates, here's what their hometown papers are saying about what lies ahead:
St. Louis Rams: "It's one thing to find a good head coach, but it's even tougher to find a sharp, effective personnel man," says Jim Thomas in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "There are several intriguing possibilities" for the position, and the team would be wise to call the recently axed Polians "to at least gauge any interest in their opening." Otherwise, there are plenty of lesser known candidates to consider.
Indianapolis Colts: Owner Jim Irsay "is a thoughtful decision-maker and careful planner," says Phil Richards in the Indianapolis Star. "He no doubt has someone in mind, and the likelihood of the process taking time suggests his candidate or candidates could be with playoff teams." What's clear is that "he does not want a puppet. He will make his selection, invest him with all necessary authority and pay him well, but he will not relinquish control."
Oakland Raiders: "The organization's first move to fix itself, having lost architect and former owner Al Davis, has to be hiring a general manager," says Monte Poole in The Oakland Tribune. "As brutal as the end of the season was, the passage of time will send a breeze to clear the scent of smoldering ash, and [Head Coach Hue] Jackson will look better." He just needs a hand.
Chicago Bears: Getting rid of Jerry Angelo, says Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune, isn't really a big shift for the organization. "But here, the new guy has no choice. He gets to be the GM, but not really. Not completely. The Bears will look for a GM who doesn't want all the GM authority." And by sticking with Head Coach Lovie Smith instead of starting anew, the Bears missed the point: "It's [the GM's] vision, not the head coach's."