Tough talk

<!--Default NodeId For Fred Baxter is 292182,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292182]>Fred Baxter</A> is generally quiet when being interviewed by the media, but the tight end was critical of offensive coordinator John Shoop's playcalling on WMVP AM-1000 Monday night. The comments did not sit well with head coach Dick Jauron.

Baxter complained that players weren't being put into a position to succeed and said the Bears needed to throw the ball downfield more often.

"I understand that Fred made some comments we wish he hadn't made, and I think in retrospect, maybe Fred wishes he hadn't made," Jauron said. "But I understand that when you go through the five weeks we've been through, it's tough, and people get very frustrated. If you're competitive - and we all are - it's hard to keep a lid on it. Those things happen. We wish they didn't, we wish he'd come to us first, but that's the way it came out."

As a 10-year veteran, Baxter has attained a certain level of respect in the lockerroom and is somewhat of a leader. The tight end missed last week with a bruised right side and was sidelined for Games 4 and 5 with a sprained ankle. Baxter, who is questionable this week and did not practice on Wednesday, had 3 catches for 40 yards against Detroit before he was hurt.

"Freddie's done a nice job for us," Jauron said. "I don't have any doubts that Fred is one of our team leaders, that he's been a good player for us. I'm sure he's frustrated because he has not been able to perform recently. The injury in Detroit hindered him in that game, and then he couldn't play last week. I'm certain that's a factor. Those things occur. I wish they didn't, but it's all part of the deal."

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