Originally written on Denver Post  |  Last updated 11/19/14

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 04: Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears call defensive plays as his team takes on the Detroit Lions on October 4, 2009 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Lions 48-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Two months ago (heck, even a month ago), Chicago coach Lovie Smith had to love his team’s chances heading to a game at Denver. Jay Cutler in a revenge game. Matt Forte on a tear. NFC playoffs spot on the horizon.

Instead, Smith is now preparing to bring his team to Denver without both Cutler and Forte, to face a Broncos team on a five-game winning streak.

Smith was engaging in a conference call with Denver reporters today. Among the highlights:

- Smith on Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow: “When you’re the starting quarterback in the NFL and you’ve led your team to five wins in a row, you’re doing something pretty good. From what I’ve seen, people tend to keep looking a year down the way, two years down the way. They ought to just be in the moment,” Smith said. “As far as us trying to defend him, it’s always tough when you play against a quarterback like him, a quarterback that No. 1 can throw the ball and a quarterback that is also mobile enough to also get you yards.”

- Smith on Cutler, whom the Bears acquired in a trade with Denver in April 2009: “That’s too bad for that city,” Smith said, referring to Denver. “Everything you want a special quarterback to do, he can. He’s mobile, in the pocket he can avoid sacks. He can make any throw. He’s been on one of our captains every game he’s been here. I just love what he brings to the table and just love him being on our team, leading our team.”

- Smith said he’s optimistic Cutler will be able to return from a finger injury to be able to play for the Bears again this season.

- On Chicago being with Forte: “Without him we are not as strong,” Smith said. “We can’t wait to get Matt back, but in the meantime, we have to move on.”

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