Bears Find Missing Air Attack

TAMPA _ The long ball returned to the Bears' lineup Sunday just in time. Jim Miller found Marty Booker three times on deep routes for touchdowns in a 27-24 win only one week after the Bears had failed to score a touchdown. ``The way I figured it, we were due,'' said Bears offensive coordinator John Shoop.

    A week after the Bears averaged 4.5 yards per pass play, they bombed away at the NFL's fourth-best pass defense -- the team leading the NFL in interception percentage.

  ``We knew they were going to bring the safety up and we knew we were going to have a chance,'' said Booker, whose three TD catches were a career high.

   Booker started at the ``X'' receiver spot, the speed position in the offense, because Dez White had an ankle injury. The Bears' chief deep threat, Marcus Robinson, was lost in a Week 5 win over Cincinnati with a season-ending knee ligament tear.

    ``We hadn't had a 100-yard receiving game this year,'' said Booker, who had 165 yards in receptions.    Booker had 28-yard, 44-yard and 66-yard TD catches. His 66-yard TD catch in the third quarter was a career long. His 165 yards were only 5 short of Robinson's career best.

   ``It was good especially to fill the void we had after Marcus left,'' Booker said.     Shoop gathered the receivers and quarterbacks together at team meetings Saturday before the game and showed some film highlights of nothing but big plays. He attempted to instill in their minds the idea that they could go deep on the Bucs just one week after the team took heat for not going deep against Green Bay.

   ``It wasn't that we didn't go deep on the Packers,'' he said, ``we just didn't do it effectively. We tried.''     ``It's like I said,'' Miller added, ``the Packers had their best defensive game of the year last week. We felt like normally we could go deep against any defense.''

     Shoop knew the Bears would never beat Tampa Bay without some big plays.     ``They're not the type of defense you're going to continually have 15-play drives against,'' he said. ``We watched on film as guys like (Jerome) Bettis had 2, 2, 60, 2, 2, 40 yards. Ahman Green did the same thing.

   ``We knew at some point it was going to get ugly. We knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but we had to keep on trying.''   Miller and Booker made it much more eye appealing.

   ``They've got to respect us downfield,'' Miller said. ``Teams are loading guys up in the box.

   ``There's no reason not to go for the jugular.''    Shoop recalled his baseball playing days and compared it to the Bears' problems going downfield.

   ``It was like I told my old college coach when I kept being moved down (in the batting) order,'' Shoop said. ``I'm not in a slump. I'm just due.    ``We were just due.''

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