Favre Continues Mastery Over Bears

Chicago - Brett Favre probably wishes he played against the Bears every Sunday.

Green Bay's ageless wonder improved to 21-5 lifetime against Chicago after Sunday's 31-14 victory. It's Favre's best mark against any NFL team, and after throwing two touchdowns against the Bears at Soldier Field, he's got 50 for his career against Chicago.

"All it means is I'm still kicking," Favre said of going over 4,000 yards passing for the season and beating the Bears again.

"I never paid a lot of attention to stats -- good or bad -- and I have my share of both. What is important to me is that I can still play at a high level. This team can always count on me to make plays to win."

Train departing: Anthony Thomas couldn't be found in the locker room after the game, just like he couldn't be found on the field much this season. Since the Bears brought in Thomas Jones to start at the running back -- without a fight for the job in training camp -- Thomas took a back seat all season.

The former 2001 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year never got much of a chance from the new coaching staff. Thomas filled in with injuries to Jones and got some spot duty on occasion, but finished the season with only 404 yards rushing on 122 carries. Thomas is an unrestricted free agent and said last week he won't be back in Chicago.

What offseason?: Bears guard Steve Edwards, a former undrafted free agent, knows he has work to do. With the team's offensive line devastated with injuries this past season, Edwards got the opportunity to play a lot.

He was on the bubble coming out of training camp, but his versatility at playing both guard and tackle should help him in 2005. The offensive line gave up a franchise-record 66 sacks this season.

"I need to work on everything," Edwards said. "My footwork, my speed. I need to look at a lot of film and try to know the system (better). I need to get in the weight room and get better on my agility and quickness."

Everybody's accountable: The off-season "officially" started Sunday afternoon for the Bears. First-year coach Lovie Smith said the job of evaluating -- both players and coaches -- would begin today at Halas Hall.

"I'll meet with all the coaches and the players. We're going to look at where we go from here," Smith said. "I think we've established who our (main) guys are. The first year (we) laid the foundation (to) find out who your core players are -- we know that.

"We have our systems in place and feel good where we're at defensively and special teams-wise."

Smith didn't say much about the offense, which should see numerous personnel and possible coaching changes in the months ahead.


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