Jauron grinning and Bear-ing it
Q: How will it be different facing the 49ers this time without your good friend Steve Mariucci as their head coach? Jauron: Well, we didn't play them that much, but of course Steve and I have been friends and still are friends. So, it will be different, but as I have always said, it doesn't really matter who is on the other side of the field. You don't want to beat them any more or any less, no matter who is over there. So, it will be another National Football League game and, of course, Dennis (Erickson) is a terrific football coach and he has a terrific football team. Q: What do you know about Erickson? Jauron: Well, I just have seen him at league functions in the past and have spoken with him very briefly. So, I don't know him personally nor would I pretend to know him personally. But, I have great respect for him as a coach and I absolutely know what he has accomplished at the college level. I've seen his teams perform in the NFL and perform well. Q: Are you preparing for a more aggressive offense when facing the Niners this time around? Jauron: Yeah. We think we will see a little bit of a difference in their attack. Obviously, there is still going to be a good deal of what they have done in the past because they have been so successful with it, but we think there will certainly be some things that reflect Dennis and his personality in that offense. Q: What has Michael Haynes, your first-round draft pick, brought to the Chicago defense? Jauron: First of all, he adds some depth. We were not a very deep team, as we found out a year ago. So, he added needed depth. Secondly, he has athletic skills at defensive end and he is a pretty good pass rusher at this point. He is not as good as he is going to be. He doesn't really know as much as he will obviously about how NFL offenses attack and the skill levels of NFL players. He is getting a feel for that and getting better every week. We believe that he will be an all-around player. That includes the ability to play the run, but most importantly is being able to put a little pressure on the passer. Q: Does linebacker Brian Urlacher's role become even more central in your success this season than it has in the past? Jauron: He is no more central than he has ever been. First of all, he is central in the sense that he is right in the middle of our defense playing our mic backer. So, he is hard to run away from. He's involved in a lot of plays and he is very athletic and very skilled. We've always depended on him to make plays. To make more than the average number of plays, as far as a mic linebacker, and we still do." Q: Why did the Bears trade defensive tackle Ted Washington? Jauron: Well, we just believed that it was in the best interest of our football team. It started with the fact that we felt that we had a number of young defensive lineman that were coming along pretty well. In order to keep Ted, we would have needed to cut one of those younger lineman. The opportunity came along when New England started talking about it. The opportunity presented itself and we thought it was the best for everybody. For our entire football team, for our president and our future. Obviously, we think a lot of Ted and I think he will play really well for New England. Q: Have there been any surprises about Kordell Stewart's play as your new quarterback? Jauron: I wouldn't say I'm surprised much about his game, but I didn't know the person. We certainly did a lot of research before we signed him and saw all positives. But, he's been a great addition to our organization. He has an infectious attitude. He's upbeat all the time. He's a very competitive guy. He really enjoys playing the game and he wants to win badly. I felt like he fit in from the very first moment. Really, from the first time we went out to dinner as a group, I think we were all taken by him the same way. We really wanted him part of the organization and I feel that it has worked out really well for us. Q: The last time you played the 49ers, in 2001, Terrell Owens insinuated that Mariucci took it easy on your team, allowing you to rally from a 19-point deficit for an overtime victory. What were your thoughts about that? Jauron: I don't have any reaction to that really. First of all, that game was two years ago, right? That game was in 2001 and that game will not do either one of us good. We are starting the 2003 season and that is all that we are worried about. Q: But wasn't that an unusual thing to encounter in the aftermath of that game? Jauron: The aftermath really didn't have an effect on me. I don't recall spending a lot of time thinking about it. I was clearly happy that we won the game and I'm sure they were really disappointed that they lost the game. The game is gone and now it is two years gone.
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