Despite Blow-out, Jauron Garners Support

Coach gets backing of team, but what of management?

It's not a democracy, but if Dick Jauron were running in an election to keep his job and only players and assistant coaches could vote, he'd be a landslide winner.

Only general manager Jerry Angelo has the vote and the verdict appears to be a firing despite all the support expressed in the locker room for Jauron after Sunday's 31-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I think Dick has done a hell of a job," defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. "That's my own personal viewpoint. Other people may not agree."

Bears quarterback Chris Chandler came off the bench as a third quarterback Sunday and at 39 years old next year said he wants to come back for the final year of his contract. He wants it to be under Jauron.

"I've had a lot of head coaches in my time but there hasn't been one of them like Dick," said Chandler. "He cares as much or more about his players' situation than he does about his own. It doesn't happen, rarely, if at all, in this game.

"He's as consistent a guy as I've ever been around, loyal. He's incredibly smart. But what happens is out of all of our hands."

The Bears had four poor starts under Jauron, and players blame this if it leads to his firing.

"He did all the right things to get us to where we needed to be," defensive end Phillip Daniels said. "We started out bad and came on down the stretch. I just feel bad because we didn't start fast. We start fast, and you never know what's going to happen.

"When you don't start fast you're playing with a bad hand all year and bad things happen."

The coaches and players had avoided blaming injuries for their troubles all season, but Sunday didn't mind reaching for that crutch in support of Jauron.

"I want to come back and coach a guy like Rex Grossman," said offensive coordinator John Shoop. "Three years I've been coordinator and it's been a turnstile at the quarterback position, obviously. We accomplished some great things when we had some relative stability at that position even without a sensational player.

"And I believe that Rex Grossman has a chance to be a sensational player and I certainly want to be a part of that."

Quarterback Kordell Stewart pointed at the injuries to left guard Rex Tucker, left tackle Marc Colombo and an early season injury to right guard Chris Villarrial as reasons for the team's 1-4 start while he was quarterback.

"When you come into the season, who's to say that Chris is going to get hurt and Rex Tucker is going to get hurt," Stewart said. "It was unfortunate for us early on, especially."

It's not out of the realm of possibility Blache could return at defensive coordinator if Jauron got fired. His defense came on at season's end and he would still be under contract unless Angelo decided to fire him as well.

"I may not be able to make that choice," Blache said. "I have a contract. If I'm out of my contract I'm out of my contract. If had my druthers, I came with Dick, I'd like to go with Dick. Dick means a lot to me as a person as a coach as a mentor as a teacher; we're very very close.

"He gave me an opportunity no one else did."

Assistant coaches frequently lead vagabond-type lives and worry over every rumor of firings. Blache said he's beyond worrying.

"You know it coming into this business," he said. "If we wanted to do something easy we'd have gone into insurance or real estate or something like that. You don't come into the coaching business because it's going to be easy. You know there's going to be times like this but that's part of the excitement, that's the kind of thing that makes it what it is because there is so much jazz involved.

"Its like some guys hang glide, some guys downhill ski, some guys bungee jump. We coach. And there's going to be some excitement and be some indecision and I think this is all part of it."

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