Originally written November 05, 2012 on Midway Illustrated:
BEARS LB LANCE BRIGGS   (on what the defense can improve upon after a strong performance like today)   100-yard rusher—we gave up 100 yards on one play, so that’s not good.  We gave up seven points at the end there, we gave up a couple touchdowns during the game that we can improve on.  There were some drives where they extended it all the way through, they had one—you know I’m not sure how long it was, but it was a pretty long drive and they scored on it, so there is always room to improve.  A lot of things to be happy about, 33 (Bears CB Charles Tillman) right now I can tell you he is the Defensive Player of the Year.  I think hands down right now there is no one playing better than him. (on the MVP of the defense)   You know the answer to that question, Peanut (Charles Tillman), Peanut all day.  I think we are all seeing history being made.  I’ve never seen anybody who’s been able to do the things he’s able to do, and to do it so consistently.   (on LB  Brian Urlacher’s interception return for a touchdown)   Tell you right now, it’s contagious.  Guys see other guys get in the end zone, and they want to get in there too.  You see (Brian) Urlacher get in there and you see Kelvin Hayden almost getting in there, and it’s fun.  Football is a lot of fun for us right now.   BEARS CB CHARLES TILLMAN   (on the difficulty of forcing fumbles during the course of a game)   I don’t think it is difficult. It is always on my mind. I am very conscious of it. I speak it; I believe it; I practice it; it happens.   (on the reason why he has been so successful forcing fumbles recently)   I don’t know. I really couldn’t tell you why all of a sudden I am getting more out. I really couldn’t tell you.   (on avoiding missing a tackle while going in with the mindset to force the fumble)   I guess I have gotten good over the years at punching, and if I don’t get the punch or the forced fumble, the majority of the time I get the tackle. It can misfire at times, but I would probably say 90, 95 percent of the time if I miss, or I don’t get the forced fumble, I am pretty confident that I can get the tackle.   (on scoring 28 points in the first quarter)   Last week we came out pretty slow. Coach [Lovie] Smith was very adamant about us going out there and having a fast start. We didn’t want to have a repeat of what happened last week when we played Carolina. This week our whole motto was ‘Hey, let’s start fast. Defense, let’s force a turnover the first play of the game.’ That was just the mindset coming into the game.   (on if he expects turnovers to continue to come at the rate they currently are for the defense)   If we continue to practice hard, yeah, why not? The sky is the limit. I think each week we do want to get better. Our goal isn’t to peak right at week eight. We want to keep peaking each week. We don’t want to level off. I think once we start to level off we will lower our standards. We don’t want to do that. Sky is the limit and we are just going to keep doing what we can do and keep playing hard and doing the ordinary things better than everybody else. I don’t think our scheme is hard. We’re not trying to out-scheme anybody. We just do the ordinary things better than everybody else. Our whole goal is to out-play our opponent.   (on Brian Urlacher’s interception return for a touchdown and if he has ever seen him run that fast)   I haven’t. I was so happy for him. I called it before. He said ‘It would be nice to get a touchdown.’ I said, ‘Hey, call it, man. The tongue has the power of life and death. Call it, say it, speak it, believe it.’ He did and he got in the end zone. Good play on his part. Obviously, he had to dodge a lot of people, but our whole motto on defense is score. We practice it every day in practice. Every single day. Not the game, but practice. BEARS DE COREY WOOTTON   (on his five-yard touchdown on the blocked punt in the first quarter)   I saw the ball up in the air and I tried to play basketball and go up and get it. I held on to the ball and just started rumbling into the end zone.   (on the team opening up a big lead following his touchdown)   It was great. Special teams did a great job all day. Defensively we were able to get turnovers. Charles [Tillman] and the guys in the back half were doing a great job getting the ball out and we were able to get on them. It was a great team effort.   (on when he last scored a touchdown)   Junior year of high school, so it has been a while. It was good to finally get back in the end zone.   (on if he had any doubt that he would make it into the end zone)   Not at all. I wouldn’t be denied. There were some guys on my back, and I just had to keep pushing through it. BEARS RB MATT FORTE   (on if the team is getting to where it needs to be)   We’re not there yet, but we are taking steps forward I think.   (on the performance by the defense)   Week after week they keep getting the turnovers and making it a short field for us. The first turnover they got we didn’t capitalize on. Making us go 40 or 50 yards instead of 80 and 90 yards makes it a lot easier on our offense.   (on the complete team effort in the win and having fan support on the road)   A lot of fan support here. Special teams did great and scored a touchdown for us. That picks up the morale of the team when you get a big play like that, especially early in the game with a blocked punt and they score.   BEARS DE JULIUS PEPPERS   (on Charles Tillman forcing four fumbles)   It’s different because most of mine come from the blind side of the quarterback and getting strips that way. He does it while the guy is looking at him and trying to run him over. He does it in a different way so I think it makes it a little more impressive on his part because I do it from the backside and the guy doesn’t see me coming.   (on forcing a turnover on the first play on defense)   It sets the tone for us definitely on defense that we are going to come out and we are going to take the ball away, which is our first objective anyway is to take the ball away. So when he comes out and does it on the first play, it sets a tone for the rest of the game.   (on if he has ever seen a season like the one Charles Tillman is having)   No I haven’t. It’s one of the best seasons that I have ever seen before.   (on where this ranks in the team’s big defensive performances) At the top, definitely. We have guys working well right now, guys stripping the ball, and guys intercepting it and scoring it. We just have to keep it going.   (on Brian Urlacher’s interception and if it was surprising that he got into the end zone)   That was nice. I think everyone was happy to see that with everything he does for the team and who he is for this franchise. To see him go out and make big plays like that, it just lifts the spirits up on the whole sideline…No it didn’t surprise me. He does it in practice all the time. It was bound to happen in a game sooner or later.   (on if defense in the first half and offense in the second half is their formula for success)   We are just going to continue to get better. We are not going to worry about who is setting the tone and what the offense is doing, we are going to concentrate on getting better ourselves and continue to get wins however they come. Whether we score 50 like we did today, or if the defense plays well.   BEARS CB SHERRICK McMANIS   (on if he and Corey Wootton played much special teams together in college at Northwestern)   Not much, that was the first time for the Northwestern duo. That was sweet, but it took the whole team to execute it and we got a block.   (on the special teams, defense, and offense scoring)   That’s our goal, all three phases to go out there and execute on each phase and we were able to do that and we were successful and we won the game.   (on starting the game by forcing a turnover)   It was a way that we started out fast and we finished fast and we finished strong.   BEARS CB TIM JENNINGS   (on how one turnover turns into more for them every game)   Well that’s kind of how the defense rolls man. We feed off of each other and have fun. When one guy makes a play, we kind of make it a competition, and everyone wants to get in on the fun. It was fun out there today.   (on what it’s like to force so many turnovers as a defense)   It’s fun out there. Guys are flying around out there making plays. Any time you can do all of that and get all the guys involved, it’s going to be a good day and that’s when they start coming in bunches.   (on Brian Urlacher’s interception and if he ever doubted that he would get into the end zone)   I think we were in cover one. I don’t know exactly what Brian (Urlacher) saw but obviously he was there in the right position and (Matt) Hasslebeck didn’t see him obviously and Brian was able to catch the ball and take it to the house…No, not at all because once one guy catches the ball everyone wants to get a block. He just had to make one guy miss and then it was off to the races on that.   BEARS LB BRIAN URLACHER   (on Charles Tillman forcing four fumbles)   I have never seen anything like it. Every week it seems like we are talking about one of those two corners doing something like that. A defensive lineman I can understand getting sacks, but as a corner to get four like that, it’s unbelievable.   (on setting the tone on the first play of the game)   Well they had a big gain on the play, but he does what he does and ran to the football. We had some guys down there and knocked it out. Anytime he is around the football, you better bet that guys on defense are running to the football because something good is going to happen for us.   (on if he had felt left out by not forcing a turnover)   I never felt left out at all. Every time we win, I’m part of it.   (on his interception)   I didn’t see where he was looking. He likes to look our defense off and go back the other way. He knows our defense pretty well. I don’t know if he didn’t see me, it was man, I just cut underneath and he threw it right to me.   (on having such great fan support on the road)   It’s amazing. Dallas, Jacksonville, here, the only time it’s not like that is in a division games. That’s when it doesn’t happen. It’s fun going on the road when the crowds are like this.   (on the defense playing well)   We are playing well. We gave up a few plays there in the third quarter when they came out and scored on us right away, but for the most part we played well and got takeaways and got pressure on the quarterback and stopped the run. They had that long one there at the end but it didn’t really matter. We are playing well and we have to keep it up.   (on if he was able to read Matt Hasselbeck on the interception)   I was just reading him. I was the plugger and I didn’t have any responsibility. No man. Lance (Briggs) was guarding the back and I was just reading his eyes and trying to get underneath one of those guys running across the middle.   (on if  they can keep this pace up)   We are going to keep trying, I know that much. It’s all we can do. There are going to be times where we can’t do this but we are going to try to do it every week and keep practicing it and it’s worked so far. Our offense played great again today too. They had one turnover there in the red zone, but Matt (Forte) had 100 rushing and Brandon (Marshall) had three touchdown catches so that’s awesome. Special teams blocked a punt, so that’s awesome.   (on if this is the best defense he has ever been part of)   The takeaways and the big plays, I have never been around anything like this in high school, college, or any level. Every week it seems like someone else is doing it.
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