Instability has equaled inability

John Shoop has received the bulk of the blame for an offense that ranks dead last in yards per game and is averaging 16.8 points. However the fact that the Bears have gone through 22 starting quarterback changes under Dick Jauron hasn't helped the situation.

The Bears have scored 28 points or more under Dick Jauron just 6 times in 77 games and 5 in 48 games under Shoop.

"The fact is we've struggled, we've struggled scoring a lot of points offensively. So it's definitely one of our worries that we don't have, well quite frankly we haven't had any long-term continuity at that position," said Dick Jauron.

The Bears and Packers are on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to stability at quarterback. Brett Favre has a consecutive games streak 187 and counting. He's on the verge of breaking the Packers all-time streak of consecutive games played set by Forrest Gregg.

"You've got to have consistency at the quarterback position and while I know Jim (Miller) started both games last year, the second game he didn't get a great deal of practice as we played them," John Shoop said. "The quarterback position is something that you've got to have consistency to win period and I think that's one of the reasons the Green Bay Packers have had such a great deal of success. That guy defines consistency."

Success is something Favre has more than his fair share of against Chicago. The quarterback has 47 touchdown passes vs. the Bears in route to a 19-4 record in a one-sided rivalry over the past decade.

The fact that neither side has a winning record doesn't seem to diminish the rivalry because both are still alive for a playoff berth in a weak NFC North.

"You'd be less than truthful if you said that when the game means something in the standings and potential playoff possibilities it certainly brings it up even further," Jauron said. "The fact that we've struggled but have fought our way back so the game has some meaning hopefully down the road makes it even better."

While a lot has been made of Favre's injured thumb on his throwing hand his numbers are still among the best in the league. Despite throwing 18 interceptions he's still posted 22 TD passes.

"A few years back he had the hand that was an issue and they went 8-8, the thumb's been a problem," defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. "But the thing about it is he's played through it. Yes, he's had some games that weren't as great as Brett's had, but they've won games and they're still a game ahead of us."

Injury Update
The Bears quarterback situation is still in flux, but a decision is expected Friday. Kordell Stewart took the majority of the reps in practice for a second straight day, while Chris Chandler got some work Rex Grossman also took a few snaps.

Aaron Gibson watched practice from the sideline Thursday. However the right guard didn't partake in any of the team drills. Jauron remains optimistic Gibson will play, but added that Chris Villarrial's strained oblique muscle will probably keep him out of this weekend's game.

If Gibson were unable to go then Qasim Mitchell would likely get his first NFL start at right tackle on the road.

"It's definitely ideal, but that's the situation you find yourself in," Jauron said. "I do believe that this guy this young man has the tools to play in the National Football League. If it works that way that he doesn't get to be brought along slowly, he's going to be out there and just that's the circumstances we find ourselves in and I got to believe that he'll get it done."

It looked like Steve Edwards would slide over in place of Gibson, but that would force another change in the lineup with Corbin Lacina filling in at left guard.

Now it looks like Terrence Metcalf will start for Villarrial, Edwards will remain at left guard and Mitchell moves into the starting lineup at right tackle.

R.W. McQuarters is now questionable with a toe injury that has been bothered him for some time. If McQuarters doesn't dress than Bobby Wade would return punts in his place.

Wade originally won the punt return job out of training camp, but a crucial fumble in the season opener at San Francisco moved him to the bench. He's contributed over the past 7 with 14.5 yards per reception on 8 catches, but hasn't returned a punt in that time.


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