Bears Week 2 Post-Game Quotes

Bears players and coaches react to the team's 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.


Opening Statement
"A couple of things: It's hard to be minus two in turnovers and get a kick return for a touchdown and win a game. That says a lot about our players and how they their resiliency throughout the game, just moving on to the next play and doing the things they had to do. To play an entire football game; 58 plus 2 minutes, tough to win and we appreciate the win. Appreciate the fact that we had a heck of an opponent today. They gave us everything they could and we tried to give it back. Really excited about seeing Devin Hester today run and return. He was a big factor in the game, not only when he had his hands on the ball, but he was also a factor in the game when they didn't want to kick to him because we had field position. I thought that was awesome. And on the last drive to get the stop by our defense; very similar to last week when our defense got the stop late, backed-up and we were able to hang on to the football. Our defense got the late stop again and we were able to push the ball down the field. Guys just making plays. Our offensive line locking it up. Jay distributing the ball and keeping his poise. He had moments of adversity in this game. He never flinched and the guys around him never did either. Really impressed with the guys with the way they worked on both sides of the ball. We're going to show up tomorrow and say the same thing we did a week ago. We can get better, and the evidence is out there today. We can get better, we can do some things better, and we'll go back to work on that after we look at the tape. I thought the fans were big again, today. I thought the grounds crew did an amazing job coming off a game last night. The people that are involved with the City and with the Bears. To have the field in that condition was awesome. Weather did not look like it was a factor. We did not see players slipping on the field, and players played fast. Two fast teams played pretty fast on a little bit of a sloppy field, but really good conditions. That's a big part of football and I thought the people involved in allowing that field to be playable after a game last night and some weather was outstanding.

On Jay's focus on the winning drive
"Well, we just wanted him executing the play. Whatever play was called, executing. We tried to mix it up. Go to different guys, give guys chances to make plays. Try to find soft spots in the defense. You know, it's just a blur right now. The play calls are just a blur, right now. It's just seeing people making plays. Dumping the ball to Matt [Forte] and hitting Brandon [Marshall] over the middle. Working the outside lane to Brandon, I mean Martellus Bennett. It all goes back to the protection. He [Cutler] had time to drop back; he had a dish to work with to step-up, and he was very cool. Our guys kept their poise throughout, and made enough plays. Sunday is the day for the players and they certainly made the most of it."

On whether he said anything to Jay after the third turnover
"Not a thing. In fact, I think Matt Cavanaugh has handled him really well on the sideline. Jay and I talk and I've told him we're going to have very few conversations during the course of the game that Matt can't reiterate. If I need to talk to him, I will. Just play the next play. Just forget about whatever happened and just keep playing the next play. And that's football. And when the game's over we'll look at the scoreboard and see where it is, but where everything is. But that's really, that's really all the conversation. We really haven't had a conversation, a legitimate conversation in two weeks on the sideline."

On why he hasn't chatted on the sideline with Jay during the game
"Well, I think number one, Matt can handle the information I need to get to Jay while he's sitting there on the sideline…on the bench. They're looking at coverages, the same thing I'm talking to people upstairs about. I'm gathering information for the next series. But I also have to help manage the game on the sideline. I have more responsibility than that. We have coaches in place to get those things done. We've worked all week together. We've been in the same room together all week with the quarterbacks. We've been on the field standing next to each other all week. I want to give him room to work, and to do his job."

On the defensive coverage on the winning TD
"It really wasn't a match-up, it was the shell coverages we were playing. That play we put in this week, really. I can't remember if we ran it twice in this game or not. Maybe that was the first time. But it was a basic play we just switched the releases between Martellus and I think Earl may have been on that side. We had Alshon [Jeffery] and Brandon taking coverage over there. We had tried to work the field. We had tried to get the ball inside and outside to those two guys. We had one left in the bag, really, and it was that play."

On the throw Jay made for the winning TD
"It was a tremendous back shoulder throw. You probably saw it better than I did, it was the far end of the field. He went to the right guy at the right time. Very well located throw. Martellus was getting bandaged up at half-time. He hurt somewhere in his forearm or shoulder area during the first-half, and came back and played and finished the game. An awesome job by him to be able to do that."

On the CB's play during the winning TD play
"You saw it better than I [did]. The play is designed to try and squeeze the corner, and open up an outside lane. And if he squeezes to cover the wide-receiver then the outside lane is available. It was going to be a tight throw anyway. The coverage was right for the play. But still, they had to execute the play. Like I said, it all starts up front. I thought our lineman did a very good job today against a very good pass rush. To be able to give Jay time to make those throws, particularly late in the game."

On what he has learned about the team through these first two games
"I know that they love football. I see that everyday in practice. Something you don't get to see. They work really hard at it. Every period, individual all the way through, this is the way the team has been since we started. They try to practice hard like it's a game. They're competing every day against each other. I think that's number one. Number two is, they're a mature group, they really are. Phil [Emery] has done a great job, and instilled some really good people in this lockeroom with high character. And they love football, and that helps. And then they made a decision that they're just going to play the next play the best they can and see what happens at the end. That's all we can ask of them."

On how much of the last drive's plays were scripted
"We have at the line, two minute calls. That's very universal throughout the league. A set of plays that we can call, with whatever personnel grouping we have. So we try to stay with that as we can't move people on and off the field. We did for one play. We did move, we put two tight ends there on the first play because we had a timeout, then we ran our three wide outs after that. I can't remember what the play was, I don't remember what the play was, I think it was the one he [Cutler] dumped to Matt [Forte]. Then we have select plays, two minute plays. When the clock stops then you have time to pull things out of you call sheet that you could run, and that was one of those plays. That was not a play we had scripted as part of our two minute plays. But it was a play I had on our list that we had on the call sheet, where if we got a play stop we could stay in the same personnel group and call the play. That's what we did. I was just glad he called it, because I didn't know if he heard me or not. So actually when he called it I thought he might not have heard the play. I wasn't sure about how we were lined up, I couldn't see. But, I'm glad he called it and I'm glad it worked out. It worked out well for our football team, where guys played hard, against a very good opponent, and we're excited about the win."

On Jay's interception in the end zone
"The thought process was we're going to go four downs, and that was the situation. We had already scripted. We were going to throw the ball on first down. It was a play we put in for this game and they did a very good job of covering it. They covered the flat, they covered the corner portion of the route. I think if you asked Jay he'd want to have that one back. Probably would have thrown the ball away and we would have had three downs to score. That's how I think he would see it. He would want it back, obviously, as we want to come out of there's a clean touchdown or we'll throw it way. Other than that there's not much more you can say about it."


On the final touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett
"We've thrown that combination on them a few times. On the pick ball it was that same combination route we ran at them. We didn't know if we were going to get the look or not, but the corner came in with Earl [Bennett] and the safety stayed, kind of inside, so the only place really, to put it, was to the back shoulder and turn him and make a play. He did, made a play, stayed in bounds, was able to extend the ball for a touchdown. It was a great play on his part."

On the importance of Devin Hester's long kickoff return following the Vikings opening kickoff return for a touchdown
"It was huge. He was there all day long, punt returns, kickoff returns. He was averaging 50 yards a kickoff return. The defense did a great job. It's hard to win a game with four turnovers. It just is. It's hard to do in this league. You can't do it without great special teams play and a great defense. The defense stepped up when we needed them to step up. Offensively, we kept killing ourselves. I thought we had a great plan. The plays were there. Two picks on my part, one tipped. It was unfortunate. One fumble gave them seven. It's hard to do without a lot of help and we got it. We had a chance at the end. The guys did a great job. The offensive line played spectacular all day. Sometimes they only brought four, sometimes they rushed five and six. Guys picked it up."

On the ability to refocus following the turnovers
"Mel [Tucker] tells me before every game, ‘hey, we got your back.' They do. Whenever it comes time for the defense to make a stop or defense to get a turnover, they do. On the pick in the end zone, they turned around and got a pick six. There at the end, whenever we fumbled, they got a stop down at the goal line, held them to three and gave us a chance to win the game. It's taken everyone in that locker room [to win] two weeks in a row."

On the addition of offensive skill players to the offense
"We're testing driving them out there a little bit. It's been fun. We've got some guys that want the ball. When we come off [the field], every single one of them are dialing up plays, in our ear telling us what's going to work, what's not going to work. Whenever we give them opportunities, they make plays. That's all you can ask for."

On what had him most excited about Martellus Bennett's signing
"It's hard to judge him because he is such a great blocker that sometimes you get caught up in, hey, we can get three out. He can lock down a defensive end. He's great at run blocking. Then you see him run routes and you're like, man, we've got to throw him the ball. You kind of have to use him on both avenues there and use him enough in the passing game as a blocker to keep them off balance and then get him his touches. Some games are going to go different than others. The last two, he's gotten a lot of balls and whenever he's gotten opportunities to make plays, he's made some big ones for us."

On the tight end being such a valuable position in the offense
"It's huge because you don't really know what to do on defense I think. If you man and one, we've got guys on the outside. If you want to play two-man, Martellus [Bennett] and [Matt] Forte are both going to beat up linebackers. If you just want to zone us out, with the way we run block and with the way our offensive line is playing, we can run the ball pretty efficiently. We can still check it down to those two big guys. It's a tough match up. With that being said, still four turnovers is still too much for this offense, especially three on me. A lot to clean up, we're grateful for the win. We just have to get better."

On the calmness in the huddle late in the game
"They're going to be as calm as I am and I try to stay relatively calm out there, especially in the fourth quarter. Kyle Long, he walks into the building fired up. He's kind of our Energizer Bunny out there. Everyone else is pretty calm. We got a great group of guys out there. I think B [Brandon Marshall] said it, everyone cares for each other so much on this offense, even the whole team. We all want to succeed. Right now we're making plays when we need to make plays."

On if he was surprised how open Martellus Bennett was on the game-winning touchdown
"I was. We ran that combo at them four or five times in the game. They finally picked up on it. We ran it one too many times on the pick and we called it again in the redzone. They're not going to like what they see on film. It was two-deep, they should've had a pretty good play to defend it. The corner got a little sneaky, came down with Earl {Bennett}, and the safety stayed tight too, gave us a shot."

On the touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall
"It was just straight press man. It took a minute for that route to come open. Kind of had to hang there for a little bit. The line did a great job of blocking everyone up. Martellus [Bennett] was in the line blocking with those guys. He had Jared Allen locked up. I just had to wait on B [Brandon Marshall]. He got pressed up, had to beat him on the outside, which is tough to do against outside leverage nickel. He's so big, he finally won and I was able to get him a good ball."

On being able to exploit size advantage of Brandon Marshall
"It's hard to play zone the entire game. It's hard to play two high the entire game as a defensive coordinator. In this league, as a defensive guy, if you're giving up hundreds of yards rushing to a back, that's frowned upon. As a defensive coordinator, you'd rather take your shots playing man and lose to the air than give up 150 yards on the ground, in my opinion. But I could be wrong."

On the relationship with Matt Cavanaugh
"It's been good. Matt's seen a lot of stuff. He's seen a lot of football as a player and a coach so nothing really rattles him. He just taps the bench and says come over and sit down. We talk it out. If I've got to vent something he lets me get it off my chest and he moves straight to the pictures. He's a calming influence over there. He relays to me what Trestman is thinking for the next calls, what he sees and what I see. He's a good communicator, a good in between, because Trestman is obviously doing a lot of things in the game. He can't spend that much time with me."

On the fumble
"We talk about it all the time, watch tape on it. Quarterback after quarterback getting stripped like that. We drilled it. I was trying to bring it back in. He made a play. I just need to be smarter than that."


On his performance
"It's never as good or as bad as you think it is, so we'll take a look at the film and see how it turned out. But, I didn't end up on my back, so that's alright. As I said, we take a look at the film and try to evaluate."

On getting extra reps tonight
"As rookies, you need as many snaps as you can get. I know it's beneficial to me, and I'm sure Jordan (Mills) will echo the same thing. You get out there and get as many snaps as you can to be put in as many different scenarios as you can be, so you can be prepared when the season comes around."


On having the "key block" on the Forte run
"He made me look good. He set me up, and he did the running. That's what he does. Like I said, we just want to have some success, and whatever we have to do to do it."

On the success of the offense
"Yes, (it will come) the more and more that we practice and the more and more we start to get thicker game plans that we get, and especially going into this week and the last preseason game and going into the season. We'll start to game plan a little more and continue to fight to get on the same page. Remember, it's not just an over-the-night offense or something that we can just learn as a unit; it takes a lot. I've been in about 80% or 90% of this system for awhile, and it just takes time, and we're continuing to get it done."


On what it says about the team to win back-to-back games in that fashion
"It says a lot. It shows the type of guys we have in this locker room and the type of coaches we have. I thought this was over last week against the Bengals but apparently not. We left a lot out there, but it gives us something we can build off of."

On what the huddle is like when you're in pressure situations
"Well, it depends on what quarter it is. If it's the third quarter it's like, ‘Uh…whatever.' If it's the fourth quarter, I have a lot of confidence. We have ‘Mr. Fourth Quarter' on our side in our huddle – Jay (Cutler). I'm just excited to have him in our huddle because he makes everything so easy."

On what he saw on his touchdown catch
"Man-to-man coverage. It was something that we talked about all week. Jay (Cutler), myself, Earl (Bennett), Alshon (Jeffery) in between periods went out there and just worked on plays like that. It was one of those game-plan plays that worked for us."

On Jay Cutler's ability to move on from previous plays when having an up-and-down game
"Well, I wouldn't put it on Jay that ball that was tipped in the end zone, we saw that play against the Saints in Minnesota a few years ago, Coach (Kromer) showed it to us and he said, ‘Hey, Martellus (Bennett), I want you to release this way. He told the flat guy what to do and if it wasn't there he told Jay to throw it where he threw it and unfortunately it got tipped. It was one of those plays where the ball bounced their way.

"The interception to myself, I ran the wrong route. It kind of stuck in between because the safety played really high and Jay believes in me a lot and he threw it up there and I've got to make that play for him or at least knock it down.

"It looked bad on the stat sheet if you say two picks but Jay really led us. It is something to build off next week and the rest of the season."

On the route he should have ran
"If the safety is high, I have to play the ball better as far as slow it down a little bit and not just [blow] through that route and kind of screwed (Jay). I didn't leave him any room to throw the ball."

On if he felt like the Bears had a chance to put the Vikings away
"Yeah, Jay came in the huddle and he said, ‘Hey, these guys look like they're ready to give it to us and it's time for us to put it in there and unfortunately we didn't. We left it too close and that was the outcome. Like Coach Trestman says, '58 minutes plus two.' That's exactly what it was."

On having a tight end like Martellus Bennett
"It's huge. I mean, towards the end, (Minnesota was) putting two or three guys on me… But, we have guys making plays all over the board, not just Martellus in the passing game, but Matt Forte, Earl (Bennett)coming in making big plays, and Alshon (Jeffrey)is just getting started. So, we've got a great group of guys. I really enjoy playing in this offense."

On if this game felt like it was all over the place emotionally
"I wouldn't say that. I just think we really love each other in the huddle. There is a lot of communication and there is a lot of guys in this locker room that (are) really passionate about the game. Not only are we passionate, but I think we wear it on our sleeve, so that's probably what you're seeing. It's fun to play like that. Hopefully we can build off of what we put out there these last two weeks."

On how much he measures a QB on how he responds to a situation like having to put together a game-winning drive
"Well, I don't know. I have been playing with this guy (Jay Cutler) since he came into the NFL and he had the same skill set back then. I remember playing in Seattle and it was our rookie year and this guy brought us to have a chance to win. Unfortunately they won, but I think we went like 80-something yards. So like I said, I call him ‘Mr. Fourth Quarter.' He's just ice cold man. I really appreciate and I'm grateful to play with him."


On what you've learned about this team so far
"I know it's early in the season, but we're trying to find our identity, and right now, it's a strong one; it's the ‘team that never quits.' We've got guys like that where whatever else happens, we'll just go play for each other. The defense never gives up. The special teams never gives up. And, the offense never quits. So, right now, we're the team that never quits."

On winning while not playing your best football
"It's very important. I don't know that anyone in the NFL is playing their best football right now. I think we got better this week from last week. We had a good week of practice, and guys are doing a great job. We just keep coming out there, and we're learning as we go. (Marc Trestman) is a great coach, and (Jay Cutler) is doing a great job. (Matt) Forte. The offensive line. You can go down the list from the defense - they had a tough task. I mean, the Minnesota Vikings are a good team, and last week we played a good team (Cincinnati). So, that's two good teams that we beat. You have to win the ones that no one thinks you can win and then win the ones that you're supposed to win too. Right now, we're 2-0 and that's a great feeling."

On the game-winning touchdown
"We ran the play earlier in the game, and I was wide open down the sideline, and Cutty (Jay Cutler) missed me. I was like, ‘Hey, man. What happened?' So, we could have scored earlier, but we've been working on that; we ran it in practice and we kind of got the same look and we didn't throw it. So, after the play, me and Cutty got together and we talked. And, we were like, if he covers me like this, just throw it back shoulder, and I'll go up and make the catch because if he's over the top that way we won't force it. So, that's two weeks in a row where it shows the communication between me and Cutty showed up in the red zone. That's what we've been working on. It's a jump ball area down there. These guys do a great job covering but I think we are fortunate enough to have three or four long guys that can go up and get the ball."

On at what point did his eyes get big knowing he got a good matchup on that final play
"Any time I get to run down the field my eyes get big. If I get one-on-one coverage, I just feel like I can go up and make a play. Cutty trusts me. We have good chemistry growing and it's still growing. I know when to expect the ball from him and that's the biggest thing down there. I know it's going to be a back-shoulder [throw], I know it's going to be a jump ball, I know it's going to be a bullet or whatever it is and it makes it easier for me to do my job because I can just keep running then make the play at the last second."

On what it was like in the huddle on that game-winning play
"Well I thought I was going to score on the play right before (his 23-yard catch earlier in the drive) that when I put a nice little – they didn't know I had jukes out there. They told me, ‘Man how are you so slippery, you're so big?' I was like, ‘I'm Muhammad Ali out here.' But I thought I was going to score on that one I was supposed to get out of bounds, but I didn't. The next play, they called a play and I was like O.K., catch your breath, make a play right here, we need one and I just go out there and play."

On if he regrets not going out of bounds on the 23-yard catch
"No, I scored the game-winning touchdown."

On if he is more the butterfly or the bee
"I am a little bit of both. I'm sweet. I move like a butterfly and I sting like a bee. I'm a little bit of both. I like to be a butterfly because sometimes you have to spread your wings and – have you ever tried to catch a butterfly with your hands? You can't do it. You need a net. They've got butterfly nets just for catching butterflies. Hopefully they don't make a unicorn net just for catching unicorns, especially black ones."

On players slipping the rain
"Yes, but we were fortunate enough to – it was weird because during training camp it rained almost every single day and we were like, ‘Hey, just like training camp.' So we've been in this weather. We got a chance to play in that weather almost 20-days straight in training camp. So it didn't really affect us like the way that it may have affected them or anything. We didn't really have any drops. Cutty threw the ball well. When it rains it's nice sometimes. It's fun playing in the rain because you get to slide around. It's almost like being a kid again out there playing football when you play in the front yard with your brothers."

On the play where he feel in the back of the end zone and stayed down for a little while
"I was just trying to make a play and I messed up my shoulder so, I'm in a lot of pain right now but it is what it is. You just have to go back in there and finish up. At this level I just feel like the tight end is a position you have to play through a lot of injuries and a lot of pain. It's a tough position to play and I've been fortunate enough to not miss any games really in my career and hopefully it stays that way. I played behind a guy (Jason Witten) who never missed a game, which I hated, but that's just the standard that I think the tight end has to bring."

On how important the kickoff returns the Bears special teams provided (field-position wise) was to the offense
"All I can say is that (Devin) Hester is amazing. Any time he touches the ball, it's like, ‘O.K., what's going to happen?' He put us in great field position the whole day. They did a great job blocking and sometimes when he gets the ball, I'm a spectator. I'm cheering, I'm jumping. It's just fun to watch him back there. We always joke with him, we say, ‘You've got to make your money this week because you're just returning kicks.' And he earned his check today."

On Matt Forte
"Matt's great. He's one of the better backs in the NFL. There's a lot of things he can do. He can catch the ball. He runs it well. He just a complete back and he picks up protection when you ask him to block. I'm very proud of him. He's one of my closest friends on the team as well. Any time he has success, you just go out there and you just go out there and you cheer for him. I think he bounced back from last week. He probably caught like 20 balls today [11] and ran 20 times [19]. He's just a great guy. This is a guy that you want to play with, you want to see do well."

On if he is seeing a different side of Jay Cutler than the one that people say has a short fuse
"I never saw that side of him. I think everybody on the offense has a short fuse. It's me, it's Brandon (Marshall), it's Cutty. We all talk about fighting off our demons before the day starts. So when we come out there, we're like, ‘Don't bring no demons out here' which means, you can't bring us down. We're counting on you so fight your demons off. So we all just joke before the games or practice about fighting off our demons. I think Cutty, he's a great guy. He's funny. He likes to laugh. He laughs at me most of the time but he's just a great guy to play with. I just love being in the huddle you see him across from you and he's just a guy you can count on. Off the field I called him in the summertime, ‘Hey let's get some routes in.' We [threw] all summer. It's just been a pleasure to play with him."

On what his demeanor was coming out for the final drive
"He's just cool, calm and collected. I think that's a trust thing with guys that he has on the outside and the guys that he has in front of him. He feels like hey we can make a play. You don't have to stress. It's not like, you don't have guys that can't make plays for you. You just feel like, we've got a chance and I've got all these weapons and these guys blocking in front of me, we can make something happen. So it's just like, he trusts me to make a play, he trusts Brandon, he trusts the line to do their job and he can relax and just do his job. It just goes to a team effort and the coaches doing their job and everyone working hard to get better."

On his shoulder and if it could be an issue going forward
"It was an issue today but I was still able to play. I mean, probably so. But it is what it is. There's nothing I can do about it. If it hurts, it hurts. If it doesn't, that's a great thing. But I'll just keep playing."

On what happened on the play he hurt his shoulder
"I'm not a doctor. Although I like to watch ‘House.'"

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