Tough to Repeat

The Bears shocked many on their way to winning the Central Division for the first time since 1990. Despite losing their first home playoff game in over a decade Chicago won 13 games, which more than the previous two seasons combined.

However, there are already a list of things that could slow the Bears progress in 2002. Chicago has several key players eligible for free agency. Not to mention playing a first place schedule next season with games against the St. Louis, Philadelphia and New England.

Still, Dick Jauron remains optimistic about the future.

"I think anytime you win 13 games it's hard to do it doesn't matter the year and it doesn't matter the team," said head coach Dick Jauron. "It makes no difference, so it's very hard to win 13 games. Will we try to do it, absolutely; we'll try to win 16. Do I think we will? I'm a believer."

Playing their entire home schedule at the University of Illinois in Champaign will not help. The remodeling of Soldier Field means the Bears will Memorial Stadium home for at least one year. Construction is supposed to be finished by the start of the 2003 campaign, but there is no guarantee that will happen.

The drive is over two hours long from the Chicagoland area and the fan base in the southern part of the state follows the Rams. So, fans will be challenged to support their team.

Although, the team didn't send the stadium out on a high note Soldier Field will remain a mainstay in Bears folklore. Jauron knows there is something special about the historic stadium.

"I had a lot of friends' come out from Boston to see the game and see games throughout the year and they all said the same thing. They said they had seen it on TV and read about it, but they said it was a remarkable experience to sit there and watch a game," he said.

Memorial Stadium is a different story that has yet to be written.

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