Krenzel maintains a hold on Lovie's confidence

CHICAGO - Craig Krenzel still owns coach Lovie Smith's confidence and the starting quarterback job even after Sunday's disastrous 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

"Yes he is," was Smith's brief response after the game when asked if Krenzel was still the starter for Thursday's game in Dallas.

On a Sunday when Krenzel threw for more yards than in any of his three previous starts, 103 of his 175 yards were entirely meaningless. He threw a 43-yard Hail Mary on the last play of the first half, caught by David Terrell at the Colts' 7 instead of in the end zone. And he threw for 60 yards on the final drive of the game with the Bears down 41-3.

Krenzel lost two fumbles, one on a missed handoff inside the Bears' 15 and the other on a sack, bringing his total lost fumbles for 4 1/2 games to six. He also has six interceptions after throwing two Sunday. Krenzel also took four sacks Sunday.

"I just need to take better care of the football," he said. "I have to have to have better mechanics -- in the passing game, maybe get rid of it quicker, or sense it (the pass rush) better. It's obviously something that was a big problem today.

"I just need to improve my decision making. The quicker I make a decision and the less I'm thinking with the ball in my hands, then the more comfortable I'm going to be and the more accurate I'm going to be."

The Bears had only one of their first seven drives go longer than three plays, but Smith said he never considered yanking Krenzel at halftime in favor of Jonathan Quinn or third-stringer Chad Hutchinson.

"I didn't really feel like it at the time," Smith said. "We wanted to give Craig Krenzel as much time as we would (need). He's a young quarterback, still developing and we didn't see any need in that."

Smith remains convinced Krenzel is improving even though he has completed 46 percent (54-of-117) of his passes with three touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 51.7 since replacing Quinn, who had taken over for injured Rex Grossman.

"We didn't, as a team, make progress today," he said. "So it's hard to really gauge that (with Krenzel). So I guess we think he is getting better."

Bears players voiced confidence in Krenzel, although it could be waning.

Wide receiver Bobby Wade is curious about Hutchinson's ability.

"I would like to see and find out," he said of Hutchinson. "But I don't think he's (Krenzel) played bad enough to lose his job."

Wide receiver David Terrell wasn't about to complain about Hutchinson after a week in which he got arrested on five driving-related charges and fined $5,000 for throwing a football at the Tennesee Titans bench in a Nov. 14 game.

"Coaches coach, players play," Terrell said. "If they make a change, they make a change.

"All of them (quarterbacks) are capable of doing it."

Terrell then added something about the quarterback situation which obviously applies to not only himself, but the whole offense.

"When Rex went down it hurt," he said. "It hurt me a lot."

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