The Monday following their sixth straight loss, Bears players were hardly in a talking mood.
The few that were at Halas Hall to explain why
everything could go so wrong in the second half of a the 19-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles
repeated familiar explanations.
Little things would be?
"Well, we've got to make plays," Azumah said.
The Bears did make plays in the first half. The
offense put together a couple of nice scoring drives
behind running back Anthony Thomas. The defense held
the Eagles and quarterback Donovan McNabb to seven points.
"Well, the game yesterday was clearly a story of two
halves," coach Dick Jauron said. "In the first half we
got done what we pretty much wanted to get
done. In the second half, of course, we did not.
"It was a frustrating day."
A day made all the more frustrating by 12 penalties,
nine on the defense and many in crucial spots. For
example, third down.
In the first half, Phillip Daniels sacked McNabb on
third and 6 but was called for a face mask that gave
the Eagles a first down. On the Eagles' next
possession, Reggie Austin's defensive holding penalty
on third down virtually erased Byran Robinson's sack
and again kept a Philadelphia drive going.
On the Eagles' lone touchdown drive in the second
quarter, the Bears were called for three penalties,
including the first of two pass
interference infractions on R.W. McQuarters. That one put the Eagles on the 5, setting up McNabb's touchdown run. The second, in the fourth quarter, set Jauron off and he got in the face of the side judge.
Jauron refused Monday to comment on the officials.
"I have a channel that I have to follow," Jauron said.
"I send the information to the league and they send
the information back and none of that is public. As
always there are calls I'll never agree with. That
happens in every game."
Players, knowing they would draw a hefty fine from the
league for complaining about the officials, backed off
"That's part of our business," defensive end Keith
Traylor said. "Sometimes you're going to have those.
Unfortunately yesterday we had quite a few."
Shoop bashing: He's been a sports radio
punching bag for as long as he's been running the
offense. And now it appears some players have taken a
A local television station reported that a few
defensive players during Sunday's game yelled at
offensive coordinator John Shoop, who has been
routinely criticized for his conservative offense. A
similar incident happened last season and Jauron's
reaction was the same.
Jauron was more upset with the media representatives
on the sideline than any possible dissent inside the
"They're all very competitive people and what happens
on the sideline happens between a very close group of
people," Jauron said. "The way those things get out is
unfortunately part of our game that there are so many
people down there listening. There's lots of things
said on that sideline in the course of a game that you
wouldn't want people to hear. And they're not all
complaints. A lot of them aren't complaints at all but
you wouldn't want them out in the public."
The day after: 'We've got to make plays'
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