Good to have Urlacher as a fan

The fact that <!--Default NodeId For Dick Jauron is 834622,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:834622]>Dick Jauron</A>'s job status, and that of his staff, hinges on a successful season hasn't been lost on his players.

With the likelihood that he's facing a win-or-else situation entering his fifth season as the Bears' head coach, Jauron says he nevertheless doesn't feel any extra pressure.

"It's not anything I think about more than any other time," Jauron said. "Anybody in this business, their job status is certainly dependent on how the team performs. That's where it is, and it's always in the same spot."

The last time he was in a similar predicament, heading in to the 2001 season, Jauron guided the Bears to a 13-3 mark and an NFC Central title.

"I don't want to play for anybody else, I know that much," middle linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "I've heard a lot of talk about people saying he's on the bubble, but if you win, they're not going to get rid of the guy. We want to win, and we want to keep our coaches here. We want to win for them and also for us, but we know we're better than we showed last year. We just have to go out and prove it."

Jauron has always been considered a player's coach because of his fairness and even-keeled approach.

"He's just a great guy," Urlacher said. "He's the same all the time. He treats everyone the same. He shows no partiality to anyone. He's just a great guy all the way around and he's a great head coach."

Bears miss "A-Train" for 2nd straight day
Anthony Thomas was expected back in uniform for Wednesday's practice, but the Bears' coaching staff decided to sit the running back one more day because of back spasms.

"He wanted to go out today," said Bears coach Dick Jauron. "Luckily, most of the guys on our football team want to be on the field. If you gave them the choice, they would go out there hurt or not, so we have to be a little bit careful.

"They said it was just muscle spasms and he should be able to go (Thursday), so we'll see how he progresses."

Jury still out
Marc Colombo is running and lifting, but he isn't ready yet to get all the way down into his stance and mix it up at full speed. While Colombo probably won't be ready in time for the preseason opener he has not been ruled out for opening day.

Battle of the week
Aaron Gibson began camp as the starting offensive right tackle after coaches had hinted that second-year player Steve Edwards would fill in until Colombo is completely recovered from the dislocated left kneecap that ended his 2002 season and required a follow-up procedure in April.

"I'm hoping this is just an opportunity to win the job full time," said Gibson, who was cut by the Lions after being their 1999 first-round pick, and was later cut by the Cowboys. "I'm feeling great. It's been a long time since I've been at this weight (375). My body fat is down and my strength is way up."

Hesitant return
Fifth-round pick Justin Gage missed the start of camp because of a hamstring pull he suffered in the team's June practices. The receiver looks to have made a full recovery as he made his debut in practice on July 29th.

"You want to make the catches, but then you don't want to hurt the hamstring. You want to go through the drills full speed and get better at it, so there are a lot of tricky things thrown in there at once but you just have to toughen it out and make the best of it," Gage said.


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