Unbeaten Bears Lovie-ing it in Chicago

It's good to be 6-0, and Lovie Smith knows all about it. Here, the third-year Chicago coach talks Bears and 49ers and discusses several subjects regarding the two teams, including Chicago's outstanding start and the unusual things that took place when the 49ers and Bears met at Chicago's Soldier Field last year.

On the challenges posed this week by the 49ers: "It's always a challenge when you take a week off. You learn from some of your mistakes from the last week, and then you get ready for the next week. Taking the week off, you have to focus your thoughts more than anything. I think we needed that week off, and I know the 49ers needed it too. Once you go six games into the season you need that. As with anything guys know that there is a big push that we have to go through and they just need to get back to football."

On if the Arizona game allowed him to point out flaws to the team: "We point out flaws every week. Nothing really changes, whether you win big, or you squeak a win out, there will be things that you have to correct. We go on that more so than what the final score is. Believe me, every game we have had things that we could improve upon, and we've tried to for the next week."

On Brian Urlacher: "Brian was MVP of the league last year, so he's had good games before. It seems like your better players pick up their games on the national stage a lot of times. Brian is a consistent football player. He works hard all the time, he studies tapes, he knows our defense in and out, and he has God given ability. It's definitely fun watching him play."

On what makes Urlacher so good: "Technically, you start with physical ability. He's 6-foot-4, 255 pounds and he's as fast as anyone on the team. He also has a great attitude, and the system fits him well. Whatever the great players have, he has that, and probably a little bit more."

On if Urlacher and Lance Briggs are still on the field-goal block unit: "Sure, it's an every-game thing for them. Most of our defense is out there for the field-goal block. You'll see them there again."

On the 49ers' offensive improvement over last year: "It all starts with Alex Smith. Quarterback-wise, you have a guy with a strong arm, who is very athletic, and can make plays with his feet. That always poses problems for a defense when you have an athlete like that. Offensively for San Fran, they moved the ball very well during the first half of the game against San Diego. Norv Turner does a great job with the offense they have good receivers, good tight ends, and a big offensive line. Frank Gore is having an excellent season running the ball. We see a very good offensive team that has been able to move the ball. With the exception of the Kansas City game, they have been able to move the ball against everyone."

On if last year's game was the game most affected by weather since he's been with the Bears: "That was a first for me, going through a game like that. When you coach for a wile, you see all the different types of weather that you can get. I've never been in a game where the weather affected the game as much, and I probably never will again."

On if his long-snapper had any problems during that game: "Yes, everyone at every position for the most part had problems during that game. The running backs, receivers, holders, they all had problems. I can recall kicker Robbie Gould being blown over by the winds when we were attempting a field goal. It will probably never happen like that again."

On if he can apply anything from last year's game to this year's game: "No, not really. As far as passing you can't take anything, but that's just a small part of it. Your running game wasn't really affected by that. There's so much film on it, they know what we are going to do for the most part, and we know what they are going to do for the most part. That game, I don't think has anything to do with what's going to happen this year."

On how much Nathan Vasher's 108-yard touchdown return of a missed field goal in last year's game against the 49ers drove the rest of Chicago's season: "All games have an impact. Every win is a big win and every loss is huge. At the time, it was a big win for our football team to be able to beat the 49ers."

On what he thinks about the possibility of a 16-0 season: "No, we have one goal in mind, and that's to get to 7-0. We have our hands full just trying to do that. We play one game at a time, and again, our only goal is to try and get to 7-0."

On if he's getting more questions from the Chicago media on that subject: "Yeah, there are a lot of those types of questions. If you have a team that hasn't loss, you are going to get those types of questions. That's for the outside world to talk about. As far as we are concerned, 7-0 is the only streak we are interested in."

On the difference in the 49ers passing game with Norv Turner and Alex Smith: "As far as passing, when you have a player like Alex Smith, not only can he sit in the pocket, but he can have different boot legs, they sprint out quite a bit, and they can get him on the perimeter to make plays. I would say that's the difference. Every team doesn't have a quarterback who can do the things that Alex can do. In that, I'm talking about play action fakes, and getting on the perimeter to throw the ball. If it breaks down, he can run too. He has excellent speed for a quarterback. As for the rest of his game, they have a good drop back game like most teams do."

On Bears' quarterback Rex Grossman's problems against Arizona: "That was the last game, and it was a couple of weeks ago. That's how we reacted to it. The way we see it the last game really doesn't mean a lot. It's just the next one that's coming up. Rex is a good football player, and hopefully he can bounce back this week, have an excellent game, and go from there."

On any enduring lessons from the field-goal return last year he may apply today: "I know we are hitting on this field goal quite a bit. There's nothing we can draw on from it. I can't tell you what I was doing that day besides playing the 49ers. We remember running a field goal back and that's about it. It has nothing to do with what we are doing right now. It's just a part of our history like a lot of other things are. We do everything in the present, and we go from there."

On practicing the field-goal scenario before the game last year: We practice long field goals each week. I would like to think that for the most part, everything that happens in a football game is part of your routine each week. We practice long field goals, and that's all that it was there. I'd like to say that we knew the wind was going to blow that way, and that Nathan would catch it, but again that's just a weekly part of what we do."


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