Open to Debate

Lake Forest - More than a few eyebrows were raised when offensive coordinator Terry Shea responded to the question of what grade he would give himself this season.

"I would say I'd give myself, probably, maybe a 'B' grade right now," Shea said. "And the reason I wouldn't go any higher than that is because we haven't scored enough touchdowns, and that's a reflection of everybody on the offense."

In three of the last five games and four times all season, the Bears' offense hasn't scored any touchdowns. In four other games, they've reached the end zone just once.

"I think the play-calling in terms of what this offense brings, I think it's been good," Shea said. "I think we've pushed up the field more than maybe the fans of Chicago have seen in awhile, and what we haven't established well enough is the rhythm of the offense. When you don't have that, it's difficult to call plays in any offensive system, and that's what we don't have right now as much as we should."

The Bears are No. 32 in six offensive categories in the 32-team NFL. They are dead last in total yards, yards per play, average gain per pass, sacks allowed, first downs and third-down efficiency. They're 31st in points and passing yards.

Shea was asked if it was unfair to evaluate his play-calling because of numerous injuries on offense.

"Well, all of the plays that I call I think are going to work," he said. "I'm not sure who is criticizing my play-calling. I've been very wide open at times. I've been too conservative at times for this offense. So you're just trying to find the right button to push, and we've had a lot of different personnel, you're right about that in terms of the offense."

Head coach Lovie Smith was asked if his continuing process of evaluating all aspects of the team extended to offensive coordinator Terry Shea, whose offense is No. 32 in the NFL.

"I'm comfortable with Terry Shea," Smith said. "I'm comfortable with all of our football coaches. So I really don't know the question you're trying to ask on that. I like all of the coaches on our staff right now. We all have to perform each week. We're under the gun each week. So what else is there?"

How about a grade for Shea?

"I'm not going to start publicly ... I like Terry Shea, so what's the highest grade you can give him?" Smith said. "I like Terry being on (the staff). What else is there to say? Go a different way."


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