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Coach Munchak's Thursday Practice Report

Posted Nov 1, 2012

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on why Chicago has such an effective rushing defense)

I think that’s exactly right. They’re going to have eight down there, they’re going to commit to that. They’re going to be hugging the line of scrimmage. When you watch their film, you don’t see it very often in the NFL where eight or nine guys look like they’re up on the line of scrimmage getting ready to stop the ball. They do a great job of getting out of there when they recognize run versus pass. They know the system so well. They take more risks with some of those things. They react quickly to what you’re doing. They’ve had success doing it, having a veteran group. They play smart, and they put themselves in a good position to make plays. They’ve been very successful this year. We got a taste of that when we played them three or four years ago, we didn’t run the ball very well. We had to throw it, and beat them throwing the football. We hope we get (Chris Johnson) going because that will obviously make it a lot easier on Matt (Hasselbeck) and the offense, that they don’t have to be throwing it. It’s going to be a big challenge.

(on if Matt Hasselbeck might have to check out more this week because of pressure at the line of scrimmage)

That’s what is good about being at home. He’s very comfortable in that, and we do that most weeks. This week will be important, that we’re changing it up, that we’re not always doing the same thing, that they can’t get a beat on us. They read your formations, they play your tendencies, they pick up on things quickly in the game, so you have to ready to adjust as an offense. With a team like this, that’s a very smart defense. There is going to be a lot more on Matt (Hasselbeck’s) shoulders. Guys are just going to have to make plays when they’re there. There will be plays to be made. We just have to make them when they are there because you’re not going to get a lot of opportunity.

(on if Jared Cook has been focused during meetings)

He’s been good. He knows, again, every week there are a lot of plays that he has an opportunity to make, a lot of plays. This is a game where if they are going to take away the run, him and the other receivers are going to have an opportunity to be a big part of this game. He’s been great, he’s been good all year, working hard in practice. Everything is real good there.

(on if more defenders at the line of scrimmage gives the Titans an opportunity for longer runs)

It does. It definitely does that. There have been some runs against them that way, but consistently, it hasn’t been that way, so they keep doing what they’re doing. They drop out of there, they give you the illusion that they’re coming and they’re not. You see a lot of that back-and-forth, yo-yoing at the line of scrimmage. We just have to do a good job of us being patient and us not making our calls too quickly, and taking advantage of some of the situations they will give us. Like you said, if you do get through there at times, there are chances to make big plays. It’s like Pittsburgh, you’ll have your opportunities. They are going to make some plays on you, but when you have a good defense like that, there will be some opportunities throughout the game, and that’s when we’re going to have to make our plays.

(on the rotation of players on the Bears’ defensive line)

Yeah, they do. They’ve been successful. They’re rushing the passer well, and that goes hand-in-hand, they’re covering well and they’re rushing well. They help each other out there with the sacks they’re getting and the turnovers they’re creating. They’re keeping guys fresh, and they’re doing about everything you’d want to do as a defense right now. It’s the first half of the season, and they’re as good as anyone we’ve watched on tape.

(on the play of Julius Peppers)

He looks strong. He looks like he’s real comfortable in their system. They move him around a lot. He’s always been the kind of guy that can move around, so he’s not just going to play on one side. Playing the run well also, not just a pass rusher-kind of guy. I know he leads them in sacks, he’s got about (five) or so. He’s around the quarterback a lot, even though he doesn’t get the quarterback. He’s still playing at a very high level. Like I said, you’ll see him line up on (David) Stewart, you’ll see him over on (Michael) Roos, you’ll see him inside. They’re just going to kind of move him around so you can’t get a beat on where he’s at. 

(on how the offensive line is shaping up for Sunday’s game)

(David) Stewart hasn’t practiced, but we assume tomorrow he’ll be out there, so that will be good. Leroy (Harris), still not sure where his knee is at. The other two guys are rotating there. Tomorrow we’ll have a real good feel on which way we’re going to go. In the meantime, the good thing is the other guys have gotten a lot of reps the last couple of days.

(on the status of Leroy Harris for Sunday’s game)

Like I said, I’m not going to rule anybody out yet. He’s going to have to come a long way.

(on the status of Michael Roos)

(Michael) Roos looks good. He’s going to be fine like we thought last week. That was a medical deal, we had to keep him off the field. He feels good, we’re just not overworking him. He practiced yesterday, a little bit more today, and he’ll do it all tomorrow. He’s confident and ready to go, so there is no problem there. We assume that David (Stewart) will be, it’s something he’s had before with the hyperextended knee. He’s battled through it, and he plays injured quite often. We’ll see, but we’re assuming he’s going to be able to play, and we’ll go from there.

(on deciding who will play at right guard)

There are a lot of things to consider. We wanted Deuce (Lutui) to get a lot of reps this week, just because he hadn’t had an opportunity to do a lot of that with the offense and Kevin Matthews had. In practice today, (Steve) Hutchinson doesn’t practice, so Kevin played a lot more left guard, again, so Deuce could get a lot of reps at the right guard spot. We’ll just kind of see how things go tomorrow, and we’ll make some decisions and be ready to roll on Sunday.

(on what will be the difference maker against the Bears)

Well the easy answer is don’t turn the ball over, probably, just because they’ve had such success at getting the ball and creating points. That’s really led their charge, as far as they’ve done a great job with that. I think for us on offense, just looking at it that way, and the offense finishing drives.

(on the key to the Bears being able to force turnovers)

It’s like you said, I think they’re playing good defense. I think when you put pressure on the quarterback, when you play a pressure-type defense that they play, I think they’re forcing teams to make mistakes, whether it be some bad throws, whether it be that a quarterback is under pressure, so he makes a quick decision because he doesn’t want to take a sack. I think that’s where it’s coming from. Knocking the ball out, creating fumbles, that’s just one of those things where hard hitting, hitting them right, hitting them on the ball. It’s hard these days to get a back to fumble. I just think it’s a credit to how well they are playing. As a group, they’re just playing well. It’s not just one area. The back end is playing, they have a lot of interceptions. The D-line is rushing, we know the linebackers are the leaders of their team with the three linebackers. They’re just a complete defense. You don’t always get turnovers because of that, but this year they’re getting them. Last year, I don’t think they had that much luck with turnovers like they’re having now, but this year, they’re making plays. It’s why they’re 6-1.

(on if he expects Colin McCarthy to rest one day each week)

We’ll do the same thing we’ve been doing the last couple weeks, going out there Wednesday, doing as much as he can and taking Thursday off and working back in Friday for some of the practice to get him through this game and the Miami game. Hopefully, with the extra week of rest, that will kind of get him to where he feels he can practice the whole week.

(on if Tommie Campbell has a shot at playing on Sunday)

He’s working through it. He came out and did the limited practice, did some special teams. He’s ahead of last week. He’s a guy that’s going to probably be a game day decision on one of those last spots on the active roster.

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