Part of the Problem

At thirty-three John Shoop is four years younger than <!--Default NodeId For Chris Chandler is 292192,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292192]>Chris Chandler</A>. His youth could be perceived in two ways either as a benefit or a hindrance.

At this point it could be taking a turn for the worse as some players are starting to speak out against the offensive coordinator's play selection.

Shoop said Thursday that he considers his players' teammates. That is a dangerous precedent when it comes to making tough decisions.

Fred Baxter is generally quiet when being interviewed by the media, but the tight end was critical of Shoop's playcalling recently. 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.

Shoop responded by saying he listens when some players talk, but others

"I have spoken with Fred about that situation and Fred and I have a good relationship and there' no problem there," Shoop said. "But you certainly ask certain guys about things and you value certain players' inputs, guys that have done it for you before and whenever they tell you something on Sunday, it turns out to be true whenever you're watching the film on Monday. Other guys tell you they're open every single play and then you turn on the film on Monday and you wonder what they were on during the game."

As the Bears offense ranks among the bottom of the league any are starting to wonder what Shoop is seeing during the game. The smash-mouth team the Bears insist they want to be ranks last in the game in rushing.

"We certainly haven't run the ball like we need to win, we certainly haven't run the ball as effectively as we'd like to," Shoop said. "To win in this league, you have to run the ball effectively. I believe that, and you have to make a commitment to the run to do that. Numbers-wise, or statistically, we haven't run the ball as well. It's not for me to say what our identity is to others."

When players are starting to wonder about the identity of the team how much longer can Shoop be considered a teammate or even more importantly a leader?

Injury update
Chris Villarrial is now listed as questionable on the injury report with back spasms. Tight ends Fred Baxter and John Davis have been upgraded to probable for the Eagles game. R.W. McQuarters is has also been upgraded to probable, while Bryan Robinson remains questionable with an ankle sprain.

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