Frustration Settling in

The ship is sinking and several players are starting to look for the lifeboat. David Terrell made it perfecting clear he's unhappy, but the receiver isn't the only player talking.

Running back Anthony Thomas had averaged 110 yards in his four games prior to Sunday's 12-10 loss to the Lions, but he got just five carries in the first half. Thomas is normally a man of few words -- sometimes none at all. But he was talking on Wednesday.

"I haven't really spoken up or said anything, but now it's getting to that point," Thomas said, noting that the Bears defeated the Lions 24-16 two weeks earlier.

"Anytime you go in a game that you won two weeks ago and you come back and play a game like (we) played and come up with a loss, a lot of guys are frustrated. A lot of guys are mad. It's hard to say what's going on right now."

Coach Dick Jauron has heard about his players spouting off, but seems content to blame anything negative said on the media.

"It depends on the criticism," Jauron said. "But the things that I hear are things that clearly a player gets asked a specific question he's going to try to answer your question. And he's going to answer it in a way that satisfies him and things are not going that well so they're going to give you answers and you're going to present them in a certain way.

"The things that I've heard about in the last couple of days doesn't particularly bother me. Do I wish players wouldn't say some of the things they say? Absolutely. But it's the beauty of our country. People say what they want, say what they believe. It's the beauty of our players in a lot of ways, they're very emotional players and they're not happy about the situation, about losing."

On one hand Jauron can be admired for his loyalty to offensive coordinator, but at the same time it will cost the rest of his staff their jobs as well.

Even when other coaches have made moves in the play-calling, Jauron backs Shoop and in some ways points the finger at his players.

"No I haven't," Jauron said of losing confidence in Shoop. "Cause once again I watch the tapes and I can see that if we make the plays, there's lots of ifs involved and where you could be if, but none of them make any difference."

"The fact is we are where we are and we've just got to improve this week and we've got to fight our way to victories and that's the only answer to all of these issues. Nobody's happy about losing."

Redskins coach Steve Spurrier relinquished his play-calling duties last week to offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, and the result was a 27-20 victory.

Giants coach Jim Fassel took those duties away from offensive coordinator Sean Payton last season and his team went 7-2 down the stretch to qualify for the playoffs.

But Jauron has no plans to take the play-calling responsibilities from offensive coordinator John Shoop in the wake of Sunday's 199-yard output against the Lions.

"There are (other) people certainly capable of it, but it's nothing that we've considered or talked about at this point," Jauron said. "Particularly when we lose, we analyze everything.

But right now, I would say no that's not a direction that we would go in."

A victory over the Lions would have left the Bears at 4-5, tied with six other teams for the seventh-best record in the conference, just one place out of the playoff picture.

"It's frustrating knowing that you let one get away from you," said wide receiver Marty Booker, who questioned the play calling after the loss to the Lions. "But we're not going to hang our heads. Hopefully we can beat (the Rams Sunday) and build off that and get another streak going."

Nobody's saying the season is over yet, but the tone in the locker room is almost conciliatory.

"We're making a lot of mistakes," Thomas said. "A lot of things aren't going our way. Right now we've just got to pull together and try to finish it out."


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