Near miss

A sleep-deprived <!--Default NodeId For Chris Chandler is 722135,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722135]>Chris Chandler</A> declined on Monday to speculate on how his first start of the 2003 season might have been improved by the presence of injured starters <!--Default NodeId For Marty Booker is 722190,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722190]>Marty Booker</A> and <!--Default NodeId For Anthony Thomas is 741795,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:741795]>Anthony Thomas</A>.

"You have different personnel groupings running in and out of the huddle and you're not sure exactly who's in the huddle," Chandler said. "I know if we have three receivers or two backs. But whoever they are, they're expected to do the job, just like I'm expected to and everybody else is."

Maybe a better question for Chandler to ponder than what players were missing, was how much better his 2003 debut might have been had any of his receivers come up big on catchable balls that wound up as incompletions in the 24-17 loss.

On at least four occasions, Chandler put passes where teammates could have made big plays but didn't. A second-quarter interception went through tight end Clark's hands and into the grasp of Seahawks linebacker Anthony Simmons. His 33-yard return set up Seattle's second touchdown.

"Like a lot of our players, he had some outstanding plays," Jauron said of Chandler. "Not just throws, but in terms of handling what was there and in terms of getting things organized.

"And then of course we had the two interceptions. You just can't turn the ball over in our business and win. Were they his fault? Well, the last one certainly was. He threw the last one right into coverage. The first one, I thought, should have been caught. But it doesn't matter. It goes down as an INT. Chris played a pretty good game. We just need to score. We certainly had our opportunities. And when we have them, he's got to put the ball right on the money, and our guys have got to make the plays."

Maybe that's what kept Chandler up Sunday night after the Bears' charter touched down just after midnight. But he said he felt pretty good despite getting sacked three times and punished by Seattle tacklers while running in a 2-point conversion. Then, the 16-year veteran was asked if he expected to play against the Lions.

"I don't really expect to do anything," he said, "but go home and go to sleep right now."

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