Step in the right direction

MINNEAPOLIS _ The Bears' offense under <!--Default NodeId For Kordell Stewart is 664678,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:664678]>Kordell Stewart</A> looked a little more like they way coaches designed it in Sunday's 24-13 loss to the <!--Default NodeId For Minnesota Vikings is 113,2003--><A HREF=>Minnesota Vikings</A>.

It just failed to produce the bottom line.

"We're not scoring enough points," coach Dick Jauron said. "You can't win a football game if you're not scoring."

Whether that's enough to warrant a quarterback change remains to be seen. But before getting shaken up by hitting his head on Bears tackle Aaron Gibson's leg in the final Bears' possession, Stewart ran for 25 yards and passed for 137 yards. He finished with an efficient passer rating of 96.7.

"I thought he was real decisive in the pocket," offensive coordinator John Shoop said.

"He made a nice decision and throw to David (Terrell)"

That was a 14-yard touchdown pass that pulled the Bears within 17-10 just before halftime.

He also threw a nice 49-yard play-action bomb to Dez White in the third quarter to set up a field goal.

"It felt good to make a play," said White, who dove to grab the ball after he was accused last week by some of not hustling. "But regardless of the fact, we didn't do enough to win the game. We stretched the defense a little bit when we threw the ball down the field."

Stewart was sacked three times, two times less than against San Francisco. The Bears' solution to poor pass protection was to lighten his mental load. It didn't have the desired effect until the Bears' were in a two-minute drill.

Coaches worried that Stewart was holding the ball a little too long while looking for third or fourth alternatives in pass patterns after his first and second options were covered. So they told him to forget the third and fourth options.

"You don't need to get through, necessarily, all four progressions in a particular pass route -- (instead) 1-2 and run," Olson said coaches told Stewart. "Let's change the tempo up and allow you to use your legs as a weapon, like we've talked about.

"That's been a point of emphasis, as well. You don't have to throw it every down. We expect you to get through your progressions, see a lane, use your feet and help us pick up some positive yardage so we're not always in a third-and-long situation."

The Bears put a bigger emphasis on taking acceptable gains on first and second down in their game plan in order to avoid third and long and keep Stewart in position to use his legs. However, his first big play came on a third-and-12. He broke off a 25-yard run to set up the Bears' first touchdown.

Until then, the plan hadn't achieved much success. Stewart had zero yards on his first five rushing attempts.

"Our big challenge this week was gaining his confidence back," Olson said. "He bounced back. We had three real sharp practices and he was sharp."

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