Wrong side of the track

The much-talked about sophomore slump was a reality for Bears running back <!--Default NodeId For Anthony Thomas is 292248,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292248]>Anthony Thomas</A>. The back went from averaging 4.3 yards per attempt to a yard less per carry in his second year in the league.

Head coach Dick Jauron said it's hard to fault the lack of a running solely on Thomas.

"I know that Anthony worked awfully hard last offseason," Jauron said. "He's the same guy and was probably on tack to a 1,000-yard season had he been able to finish this season. He didn't have the best second year, the second year he wanted and we wanted, but there are so many things involved that I don't think it was Anthony. Some situations, yeah, maybe he could have hit the hole better, could have maybe missed the hole, but those things happened a year ago, too.

"I think he's a part of our future. I think he'll be the guy when our team is back and placed together, Anthony will perform."

Still the Bears might look to add more speed at the position, whether it's through the draft or free agency the team has three backs that are similar in their running style.

Thomas, Leon Johnson and Adrian Peterson are all power backs and speed is of importance.

Thomas still has supporters and the most vocal of them is his former Michigan and current teammate David Terrell.

"He was the rookie of the year, he's a great running back," Terrell said. "I think that it wasn't a sophomore slump, a lot of guys was banged up on our offensive line. A lot of guys was banged up at the receiver position, so a lot goes into it. All that plays into one. But next year he's going to be here and we're going to be ready."

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