Byline: Bob LeGere Daily Herald Sports Writer
As his NFL head coaching debut draws nearer, Bears coach Dick Jauron is reminded of his first game as an NFL player.
"I was really excited, extremely excited," Jauron said. "And then about halfway through the first quarter I realized I wasn't going to play very much in the game. I was kneeling on the sidelines and I turned to (running back) Nick Eddy and I said, 'I'm not going to play much, am I Nick?' And he said, 'I don't think so.'
"I don't know why it had never occurred to me before. But up to that point - in your high school career and your college career - you're playing all the time. You get to the NFL and you make the team and you're real excited you get to that opening game, and it's just like every game you've ever played in except the odds are you're not going to play a lot. It took a little bit of an adjustment."
Jauron is approaching his head-coaching debut with the same enthusiasm he showed as a player. Although most of his players contributed to consecutive 4-12 seasons and there are 10 rookies on the squad, Jauron is a firm believer of the power of positive thinking.
The biggest adjustment he's had to make is a mental one, getting the same players to believe that they're capable of winning on any and every given Sunday. Jauron has preached to his players from Day One that they can win every time they take the field.
"You want them to feel they can win every single game," Jauron said. "You have to make them believe it's the truth. We'll be the underdog, and that's OK, but as long as they believe, we'll have a chance."
There's also the chance for a major letdown if results don't meet expectations, but Jauron doesn't see any alternative to his approach.
"In terms of setting us up for a fall, I just can't believe that there's any other way to look at it," he said of his positive outlook. "I don't know why you would ever go into a game or a season not thinking you could win it and not thinking you could get to the championship round. …