HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
(on if he expects Chicago to try to force some turnovers this week)
Well, they’ve been very good at it. I think they’re sitting in the top five of almost every category I think there is on defense. They score a lot of points on defense. If we can stretch them…The last two weeks we’ve been much better with the ball. We have to continue that in order to beat a team like this because that’s what has helped them get to 6-1.
(on if the defense tackled better against the Colts)
I thought we did. There were a lot of things we did better. That’s the hard part after that game, when we have to talk about not winning it after really improving a lot of areas. I just think it’s something that we did a lot better job of reading things. I think we closed the gap a lot quicker. When you’re taking drops to a pass, all of a sudden you recognize a run, I think we did a better job rallying to the ball. I thought more guys were there, so there was less opportunity to miss tackles. It’s not necessarily technique a lot of times. A lot of times, you’re out of position, and the offensive guy has an advantage on you. I thought that the guys did a much better job at that in this game. Like you said, continue to work on those things in practice. Tomorrow we have pads on, get a nice thud on nine-on-seven, so they can wrap up in those periods. We have to keep that going because this is a game where if they can run over you, they will. They’re going to attack you. They run the ball well, time of possession. They want to run at you if you let them. It’s going to be a physical game. We’re going to have to tackle well, or it’s going to be a long day.
(on if he was impressed with
Yeah, he did a nice job. (Reggie Wayne) still made some great catches. They made some plays, no doubt about it, in some tough spots. I thought he did a nice job in a lot of those areas being there. We’re going to need that this weekend with the receivers they have.
(on the play of the Bears’ Tim Jennings)
He’s done a great job at corner and making plays. Again, that’s a defense that if you look at their roster, they’ve all been there a long time. They’ve been in the same system a long time, and it shows. They play smart, they don’t make many mistakes. They kind of wear you down figuring that you’re going to make a mistake somewhere in there. I think five or six of their turnovers are in the red zone. The Detroit game especially, they showed up, where they made a bunch of stops down there. They’re a team that believes that somewhere along the trail, they’re going to get the ball off you, that you can’t continue to make plays on that defense. They have great leadership, and it shows. Like I said, they’re in a system, and I think they all benefit from it. When the front guys are getting pressure, that’s when the interceptions usually come. When you’re getting pressure, the quarterback has to make quicker decisions, the ball is out of his hands faster than he wants to. All of a sudden, it’s an interception. They’re covering well too, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of the credit goes to the front group that is creating the havoc up front that the ball is coming out. They’re getting a lot of interceptions and taking advantage of it.
(on what he sees when watching Jay Cutler on tape)
We had him at the Senior Bowl, so I saw him up close and personal during that time, got to know him a little bit. When he comes to town, I’ve seen him at some charity events. I’ve always liked him. I think he’s a tough quarterback, he plays hard and the game means a lot to him. They could be sloppy and not look like they’re doing much on offense, and then he could do like he did last week and take the drive down the field and win the football game. That’s what he’s capable of doing. Whenever you have a special quarterback with his ability that is accurate with the ball and can make those throws, he gets hot, you’re in trouble. I think that’s what he did in that game. Carolina went in there and had him beat, really, and probably should have won the game or had a great chance to win it. He takes them right down the field when he had to do it, and they won. They have the type of quarterback that can take them the distance, and I’m sure that’s what they think.
(on if the Bears have the best defense in the league)
I mean, right now they do, statistically, when you look at all that. It’s hard when you’re not watching all the defenses to make that statement. They’re obviously as good as we’ve seen all year. You play Pittsburgh, you play Houston, you play the Bears. They just do it a different way. Like I said earlier about the experience they have on that team, (Brian) Urlacher. They’ve got good leadership, (Lance) Briggs, (Julius) Peppers. You can go on and name guys, it’s like a who’s who list. They’ve been in the same system, they understand it. They feel that they can control every game and win every game by themselves, I think, kind of like how the Ravens were the year they won it. I think they’re a special group, and it’s going to be a great challenge for us. It’s similar to when we went up there in Chicago a few years back and had to play. They crowd the line, they attack the line of scrimmage. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be a big challenge.
(on if he expects
We feel good with Michael (Roos). He practiced some today, and he’ll continue to do more every day. He should be OK. (David) Stewart is the one, with the knee, we’ll see. We hope by Friday he’s practicing, or maybe Thursday. He’s a guy that usually rallies and can play. We should have him back. Probably the only position will be right guard. Leroy (Harris) has some distance to cover to be ready to play on Sunday, so we’ll see. I think we feel confident in that group. The guys that stepped in last week did a nice job. (Mike) Otto and (Kevin) Matthews held their own and did some nice things for us in protection and the run game. We expect the same thing this weekend, but it will be tough against this group because they are pretty darn good.
No, they’ve got pictures. It’s one of those things when something isn’t torn, it’s hard to tell how stretched it is, so you kind of have to wait a few more days to kind of get an evaluation of where that’s at. A lot of those types of injuries you can play with a lot quicker than you think. We’re just kind of waiting and seeing how that thing sorts out this week.
(on if he thinks that Leroy Harris is a couple weeks away from returning to the lineup)
We feel a lot better. I think initially the concern was it was a lot worse than it really was. Now it’s just a matter of seeing…Guys are so different with knees and how they respond to them. Now it’s more of a day-to-day to see where he’s at and then we can figure it out. I would think he’ll definitely be playing again here sooner rather than later.
He got caught in a pile. I think he hyperextended on that same play where he went down and Leroy (Harris) went down. I thought we were going to have to call the game, actually. Did we suit up seven or six? I was starting to remember how many we had. Luckily (David) Stewart came right back after just missing that one play. His foot got caught underneath the pile on that play. It looked bad, luckily he didn’t get hurt.
(on if this week feels like the Pittsburgh week in that it’s a must-win situation)
Unfortunately, yeah, it’s a lot like that. We’re back in the same situation where we really need to play well, or it could be a long day. We need to come out of thing with a win. So yeah, it definitely is. It’s a team we don’t know that well, so obviously, we have to be on top of that. They don’t do a lot, they just do it all very well. That’s going to be the challenge. This could be a huge win for us, a team that is playing as well as they are. It’s going to take us playing at our best to get that done.
(on if he expects much activity across the league before the trade deadline)
I think in the league in general, it’ll be like most years. I think you may get a little more because you’re pushing it later. I think the later you push it in the season, there is more opportunity for those things to happen, like in other sports where they try to adjust the roster before you get to the playoffs. I’m sure there will be a little movement, but I can’t see us right now doing much.
(on if Halloween is a big deal at his house)
Unfortunately, once I started coaching, I’m never home. As a player, it was fun. I enjoyed it with my daughters. We celebrate now down here together as a coaching staff, so we miss out on all the fun.