Final Exam

Rex Grossman's biggest challenge to date will come this weekend at Arrowhead Stadium, a venue offensive coordinator John Shoop characterizes as ‘the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL.'

To compensate for the Chief's home field advantage, the Bears are simplifying the offense somewhat, decreasing the overall number of audibles. In order to prepare for the crowd noise the team has been practicing with increased volume of noise during practice.

With WR Dez White on the injured reserve list and Justin Gage questionable for Sunday's game, John Shoop was asked whether Rex Grossman would be uncomfortable with the decreased number of available receivers.

"Rex has a high level of confidence," Shoop said. "He has been working with a number of receivers during practice all season. I think that he'll be flexible enough to be able to throw to whoever is out there for us."

Does the rookie lean towards overconfidence?

"No, that has not been a trait that I have seen with Rex," Shoop said. "What I have seen is a hard worker with a tremendous enthusiasm for the game. Rex wants to win, and he puts in the time necessary to get good results. I see a tremendously bright future for him with this team."

Any changes in the overall offensive game plan to maximize Grossman's abilities?

"We're staying with what we have used all season," Shoop said. "Rex has shown that he can be a team leader. He has increased the confidence of everybody out there. He is a student of the game who prepares meticulously. He is comfortable with what we are doing. Even though this will be his first NFL start at a stadium other than Soldier Field, I expect him to do well on Sunday."

The other topic of conversation at Halas Hall Wednesday was, once again, the future of Dick Jauron as head coach. Although Shoop claimed that the focus of team members and their coaches was centered solely on the upcoming game, he did say that Jauron has become a role model for everyone from players to assistant coaches.

"Dick wants all of us to do our best," Shoop said. "He sets very high standards for himself. The players want to please him by giving their best efforts as well."

Has the relationship between Jauron and his offensive coordinator changed over the years?

"I feel no differently about Dick than I did when I first came here in December of 2000," Shoop said. "Whether he is able to remain here or not is not for me to say, but I have always found him to be a man of great integrity. He has held this team together through good times and bad. We all work as hard as we possibly can to bring him the success that he deserves. Whether or not what we have accomplished is enough, remains to be seen."

Shoop remains positive despite the fact that his days at Halas Hall could be numbered.

"There are no bad days in the Big Leagues," Shoop said. "I don't allow myself to think about negatives. I do focus on the upcoming games and on my responsibilities to the offense, not on the future of my job. At the end of the season, I will sit down with my staff and reassess the progress we have made, just as we do every year. Other than that, I have no control over what will happen."

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