Miller Time

Despite the fact that <!--Default NodeId For Jim Miller is 292233,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292233]>Jim Miller</A> didn't throw in practice Wednesday the Bears expect him to be under center come Sunday when the team travels to <!--Default NodeId For Green Bay is 114,2005--><A HREF=>Green Bay</A>.

"You know what, he deserves our trust," head coach Dick Jauron said Wednesday of Miller, who, in spite of tendinitis in his right elbow and shoulder, passed for 250 yards in a relief role in the Bears' 20-17 overtime win against Detroit last Sunday.

Miller replaced Chris Chandler (sprained ankle) in the third quarter and led the Bears back from a 17-7 deficit to help snap an eight-game losing streak.

Miller did not throw in practice Wednesday. Chandler, who is listed as doubtful, sat out. That left third-stringer Henry Burris, an ex-Packer, to participate in all passing drills with the first team.

Jauron doesn't know if inactivity during the week will affect Miller's performance come Sunday, but given the options, he's willing to take the chance.

"Quite honestly, I haven't asked that question to Jimmy, at least in the last two weeks, because all Jim says is, 'I'll throw.' '' Jauron said. "He says, 'I'll find a way to make it work and if it doesn't, you'll know. We're just going to go out and make it work.'

"So I anticipate he'll make it work. That's how I'm looking at it. He'll go out Sunday. If he doesn't throw all week, and he may - he may (Thursday) or Friday - but if he doesn't throw until Sunday, then somehow he'll make it work."

Miller said he'll probably even forego throwing in pre-game warmups.

"I'll probably just go out there and play, is what's going to happen," he said. "Hopefully I'll play a great game. That's the way I'm looking at it. I'm just going to prepare myself mentally as well as I can, watch as much tape as I can on the Packers."

Although it's far from feeling good, Miller says his elbow is showing improvement.

"I will say this: I told Coach Jauron it felt better after this game than what it felt after the Philadelphia and New England games," Miller said. "So maybe that's a good sign. But it was still swollen and sore."

That isn't a good sign.

Miller, nonetheless, was glad to simply take snaps and make handoffs Wednesday. He thinks his overall lack of practice time in recent weeks has affected his timing and hurt his ability to perform quarterback functions other than throwing.

"I think it screwed up my footwork more than anything," he said. Miller cited two instances late in last Sunday's game in which he tripped over the foot of guard Kevin Dogins. Miller didn't practice at all last week, or with Dogins at left guard.

"As the game went along, it's just like anything, you feel more comfortable,'' Miller said. "It is kind of like riding a bike, where it's like I've been in this situation before. I know what to do here and everything seemed to come pretty natural."

Miller joked about his poor footwork becoming a regular part of the offense, considering he scrambled to his feet on one play after being tripped by Dogins, rolled to his right and completed a 33-yard pass to Dez White to help set up the field goal that sent the Detroit game into overtime.

"Who knows, maybe I'll just stumble like a buffoon a lot more," Miller said.

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