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Bears Head Coach Dick Jauron Press Conference

Phone ConferenceBears Head Coach Dick Jauron speaks to the press.



            **Q:  How are you?**  

J: Well, we've struggled.

Q: Tell us about it.

J: It's been a long year. Certainly, like every team in the league, going in we're optimistic. We knew it would be very difficult for us. We knew we'd have to have a lot of people that have not performed at a championship level, they'd have to perform at that level to have a chance to challenge. Honestly, that has not occurred. We're very young at all of our skill positions on offense. We're looking for a quarterback to come through as well as a running back. We're looking for two more wideouts to go with Bobby (Engram) and Marcus (Robinson). To have a tight end up. Really, we lost Bobby and Marcus and we lost our tight ends until recently. I think James Allen has really played well for us, our running back, I think he's done a nice job. The quarterback has just performed, I'd say, to an average level, very average level. We needed more. That's sort of been the story of the year all the way around.

Q: What is Cade McNown's status?

J: Well, right now, we anticipate that we will play Shane (Matthews). So, Shane will be our one, and Cade will be our two his week. He's been the three the last three weeks. Mark Hartsell will probably be our three. Cade presents problems for defenses with his movement skills. We'll keep that in mind as we get our preparation done too.

Q: Were you more optimistic about this season than last season?

J: Well, I've obviously been asked that question a number of times and what I've said is, I like optimism. I'm an optimistic person. I've always said the same thing going into training camp, coming out of training camp going into the season, that we'd have to have certain things happen. That we'd have people that have never done it the National Football League at that level that we needed that we'd have to have them do it. That's hard to do. That's very difficult to ask young players to step right up and play at a championship level. So, as I said, I like optimism. I like people to expect us to do well, because we expect to do well regardless of circumstances. We expect to succeed. We don't put in all this work, and players don't put in all this effort to get where we are right now. It's been very disappointing in that regard and very unfulfilling for them. I feel badly for the players to this point. They've given us effort, we just have so little to show for it.

Q: Has your career gone by quickly?

J: I was saying that today to our strength trainer Russ Riederer. We were just talking on the field and I said, 'Isn't it amazing, how fast the time goes?' The different segments of your life, you're looking at them. If you don't stop and really take the time to appreciate them, you're really missing the boat because it does go awfully fast.

Q: Have they formed you as the coach you are today?

J: I think everything. Whatever happens to somebody as they proceed through their life, every situation that they live through and all the people that they meet, and how they're effected by those people. It all carries on and it all becomes part of you in some way.

Q: Did you know early on in life that you wanted to be a pro football coach?

J: No. But I will say this now, my Dad was and is the best coach I've ever seen. It didn't matter what sport. He's just really good at it, very, very good at it. That's always influenced me. I've always thought that coaching and teaching was a very honorable profession. So, in that regard, I'm sure I had it in my mind that I would want to try to coach at some time. It was never planned. It was never plotted to go into coaching. It just kind of happened.

Q: Did your dad push one way or the other?

J: I would say that both my Mom and Dad were very supportive of all of us kids. There were five kids in the family. Whatever we chose to do, as long as we were willing to work at it, they supported it. In terms of sports, my Mom was at every game that I remember that I played in. Dad didn't come a lot because he'd really get too nervous because he wasn't directly involved. He wasn't coaching us. He knew enough about them, he knew so much about them, that he would just get very nervous just watching. They were always very encouraging.

Q: Are you talking about high school and college?

J: Yes.

Q: It must have been hard for them when you stopped playing?

J: Well, my Mom only came a few times when I got out of college. In the NFL, they would only come – she would come when it was close, but my Dad didn't come hardly at all because of what I said earlier. He'd just get too upset.

Q: Do you see a difference in today's players?

J: I hear it too. I've been asked that. To be perfectly honest, I don't see a huge difference. Now, there obviously is because of the amount of money is so huge now. In my opinion, the players by and large want to win, and they'll work to win. If they feel that you have their best interest at heart which is to win then they will work for you then if they sense that your interests are not theirs. Again, the goal is to win, and that is what I believe they want to do, by and large, like everything else if you get that large group of people together you're going to have some guys that aren't on the same page. Those are guys that you have got to part ways with as quickly as you can. By and large, I find these guys to be very similar, just significantly more wealthy than the guys I played with.

Q: Can you talk about Jerry Azumah?

J: Jerry is a great young man. I'm proud to know him. He's an extrmely hard worker. Clearly, he's a little bit young at the position of cornerback. He's got unusual skills. He's been blessed with that, but he's also worked at it. He's continued to work here. As you said, he's very young in his development, but he does try to execute technique. He does have the physical tools at times when he gets himself in trouble, because his technique may break down. He can recover and make a play. He's got a ways to go, but he has come a long ways.

Q: Do you expect him to start on Sunday?

J: We do right now. Walt (Harris), we'll have to monitor Walt's health. I believe Walt is questionable for the game. I'm talking about Walt Harris right now. If Walt can't go, then of course, Jerry would go. I'm sorry Walt is doubtful.

Q: What do you see in Mark Hartsell?

J: We're really happy to have Mark. When we worked him out, he was pretty much out of shape. He was about 240 pounds, but his arm was very strong. He's a quality guy, and he is a smart guy. When we signed him he started working, and he's down to 120 pounds, he's in great shape. He's got good movement skills, so he can get out of the pocket and hurt you some, but he's still got that powerful arm. He's got size, I love his size in the pocket. I think there is a lot of upside to Mark.

Q: The other guy would be Khari Samuel.

J: Pretty similar, except for the fact that he didn't have that time off so he didn't get out of shape. Khari is a gifted athlete. He's really progressed and helped us on special teams particularly this year. I think he understands better the importance of it. The effort that needs to be put in both on and off the field to stay at this level and help us win at this level. He's got a chance to be a real good player for us in the future. He's got a chance to start, to come up and challenge for a starting job.

Q: Did you see 120 pounds?

J: I probably did, but I didn't mean it. I meant 220.

Q: You played for Coach Bill Belichick in Detroit, do you remember anything about him from those days?

J: What I remember about Bill is how hard he worked. He was a hard worker. He was very serious about what he did. When we were together in Detroit, there were going through some difficult coaching changes there too. Like I said, I've always respected the fact that he handled himself in all situations very professionally. He was known as a guy who worked awfully hard at what he did.

Q: Are you surprised he is a head coach in the NFL today?

J: I'd be less than honest if I said I could see much of anything back then. I mean, I was 23 years old. I wasn't really looking very far outside of what I was doing. The only thing I could tell you is that it doesn't surprise me that he is where he is now. Looking back and thinking about how hard he worked and how he viewed the job and the professionalism he brought to it. I'd be much less than honest if I told you at that time that I projected anything for anybody let alone Bill.

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