Bears & Jaguars Game Notes

Bears coach Dick Jauron found a lot of positives despite the team's 24-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Champaign Saturday night.

"You never like to lose, but after all this is an exhibition game," Jauron said. "In two weeks, we'll all be 0-0 again. I'd much rather focus on what went right in this game, then we can build on that."

Jauron seemed particularly pleased over the return of receiver Marcus Robinson to the starting lineup. Robinson, who has been on the sidelines since a knee injury last October, scored on an athletic grab of a 26 yard throw from quarterback Chris Chandler late in the first half.

"Marcus looked great," Jauron said. "We were expecting good things from him tonight and he definitely delivered. You could tell during last week's practices that he had stepped things up a notch. Clearly, he wanted to demonstrate that his desire and his skill had returned."

The Bears offense was on the move with 171 yards and 10 first downs in the first half. Both Jim Miller and Chris Chandler had solid performances. The duo combined to complete 10 of 15 pass attempts in the half. The team's other first half points were the result of two field goals by Paul Edinger, one from 38 yards in the first quarter, and the second from the 45 yard line early in the second quarter.

‘I'm definitely feeling more comfortable now in this system," Chandler said. "It felt good to be out there. Everybody was doing their job. The line was hitting hard and I had plenty of time to work. It's great to have Marcus back again and I was happy to see David Terrell starting to step up as well. We still have a few more things to work on before the season starts, but at this point, I think that things are going quite well."

Backup quarterbacks Ken Mastrole and Henry Burris made appearances midway through the third quarter as they continued their battle for the number three position. Burris completed 2 passes for a total of 16 yards while Mastrole had 2 completions for a total of 19 yards. While neither player turned in a dominating performance against the Jacksonville defense, both seemed relatively comfortable and confident in their roles.

"I know that I didn't play a good game against Denver," Burris said. "I had two choices after that-to give up, or to learn from my mistakes and try harder. I chose to build on what I had learned during that game. It's very clear to me right now that the pressure's on, not only from myself, but from my peers. From here on I need to show that I can get the job done."

The Bears defense put in a solid performance highlighted by two early sacks of Jacksonville QB Mark Brunell by defensive ends Bryan Robinson and Phillip Daniels, who took down the quarterback on two of the first three plays. Jacksonville's offense had no first downs until midway through the second quarter after a 32-yard pass completion from Brunell to Darnay Scott. The Bears left the field at the half with a 13-0 shutout.

During the second half, Jacksonville came back under rookie quarterback David Garrard who passed for a 17-16 lead by the fourth quarter. A Mastrole fumble near the end zone was recovered by Jacksonville to tack on a late touchdown, which resulted in the final score.


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