Lovie Smith took to the podium after the Bears defeated the Tennessee Titans to talk about the win and the progress the team has made after the first half of the season.
BEARS HEAD COACH LOVIE SMITH
Great job by our team, you can start with that. We can talk about a lot of things, and I know Charles Tillman was in here earlier. For a coach to be able to watch a special trait that he has, a special ability to knock the ball out is hard. It kind of sets the tone for our football team right away. We knew it would be tough down here but it is always easier when you have that many fans that come out and support you. It seems like each home game we get more and more. This was another time where we had Soldier Field South down here.
Starting off with Charles (Tillman), Brian Urlacher, we have been waiting for Brian to really step up like that. Outstanding job by him, touchdown, caused fumble, recovered fumble. The defense was a frenzy out there, really taking the ball away. That’s what we are, that’s what the guys believe they can do every play. That’s the mindset. Offensively, Jay Cutler, you want to come like that and have that type of game. Of course you want to be able to throw to a receiver like Brandon Marshall. I think he had three touchdowns. Matt Forte had over 100 yards. There were a lot of good things we did today. That’s what we have been waiting on our football team to do.
Injury wise, Henry Melton hurt his back a little bit but he was able to finish the game and Israel Idonije hurt his knee but he was able to also. One more, hopefully a week or a day we are closer to getting Alshon Jeffery back.
(on The Titans running an option route that caused the interception by Brian Urlacher)
You will have to talk to them. I don’t know. I know Brian (Urlacher) was in great position for it. Zone coverage for us. When you are giving pressure, the quarterback is getting rid of the ball and that’s your mindset. Those things happen.
(on the importance of getting off to a fast start this week)
Very important. We have been, of course, talking about that quite a bit. Even again last week, when you are on the road you want to get off to a quick start like that. We need to see that, that’s what we are capable of doing. About the halfway point in the season there shouldn’t be lags in your performance. You should have that tight throughout.
(on a difference in Jay Cutler on his return to Nashville)
No. You don’t have to really look real close. You know it is special for guys when they get a chance to come back home where they played their college ball and your second home is here and all of that. We knew that it was important and a big game for him and he played that way.
(on the punt block and how big of a play it was)
Just tone setter, you know. Two Northwestern guys. I think Sherrick McManis blocked it. Corey Wootton, I mean, I don’t think Corey scored a lot of touchdowns but it normally takes all three phases. We got some good plays out of our special teams today. Not only on the punt block, but Devin Hester. I mean that return, we’ve been waiting for that. Hopefully we can keep building off of it.
(on if it could be disorienting to an opponent to lose the ball so early in a game)
It has to be upsetting, yes, when you know our reputation coming in. It’s not like it’s the first one we’ve done. Every team we play against, it’s a part of their mindset. Their game plan is, ‘hey, this team will strip the ball so protect it.’ But I think it’s still hard, I mean, to have three pressure points or whatever you want to say, on the ball at all times. That’s who we are.
(on if this is the best defense he has ever coached )
It’s a little early for that. We like where we are right now. I know this defense is doing some things that no other defense has done that I’ve been a part of. You know, scoring touchdowns, the amount of takeaways we’ve been able to get. That is special what we have going at the half way point