A very good practice today, a lot of energy. The guys had fun out there. They were very focused. Very few mistakes, guys were locked in we got a lot done. Injury wise: Limited today - Matt was limited but he did work. Stephen limited but did work. Ratliff got reps today as well and Brandon was limited as well but moved around. Anthony Walters and still Jay and Briggs are out.
Ratliff is in line to go (Sunday). We'll see what tomorrow brings but he got reps today.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO GET OUT OF HIM?
Well we hope that he'll do what we've seen him do in practice. The little he's been in there he's holding the point. he's getting a rush. He hasn't played for a while so we don't have high expectations right now but we certainly see the light and we're hoping we get a little bit out of him and it might be Sunday, we'll see how tomorrow goes.
HOW DID FORTE RESPOND?
He worked, so I don't think there's an issue there. He looked unencumbered running around out there and got some reps.
It's always been a work day for so long that I dot know any other way of doing it. I'll tell you what I told the guys. It's OF to put the Vikings away for the next 6 or 7 hours and to enjoy the camaraderie and brotherly love of their teammates if they're around. I made sure every body has a place to go. We checked on that. and the love of their family because we don't get many chances to do that. So it's OF to put football away from a standpoint of being concerned about Sunday. They put two hard days in, they've got a few hours to take off and I just asked them in the evening to just recommit it to our football team and when they wake up tomorrow, they wake up and we put in a purposeful day - that's the plan.
IS THAT TOUGH FOR YOU TO DO (FORGETTING ABOUT GAME FOR A FEW HOURS TO CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING)
"No. I can put it away. If I'm selling it, I've got to do it, right? That's what I'm selling today is let's put it behind us. We still have work to do as coaches. We're going to get it done. We'll get out of here a little bit later. But we look forward to going home to our families and enjoying the holiday. We don't get many of them and we should be able to do that."
PUT CHEF'S HAT ON IN KITCHEN?
"No, that's not happening."
LIKE WAY Kyle Long RESPONDED FOLLOWING INCIDENT/CONCERNED WEARING ON HIM?
"No, not at all. He's a highly emotional guy. But he has the ability to put it behind him very quickly. I watched him closely on the bench when he was on the sideline Sunday and he was able to put it to rest, very remorseful. We've just got to continue to work with him. This is as much as he's ever played the game for as long as he's ever played it. So we're going to work with him on that. He continues to ascend. He continues to get better. He's a joy to coach. So I'm not concerned about that at all."
EVIDENCE KYLE HAS NOT HIT ROOKIE WALL?
"His energy is good. I think with Kyle and with Jordan they're surrounded by some pretty sharp veteran players in Bushrod and Garza and Matt, so I think they're in a good place and I think Aaron has got them keeping it on an even keel through the course of the day and focused in on the things that he needs to do to get better."
HOW ENSURE PAEA AND RATLIFF DON'T THINK THEY HAVE TO WIN GAMES BY THEMSELVES?
"We tell any player that's on our team that they shouldn't carry the weight. They just have to do their job. They have to perform their job in the department that they're working in and rely and trust that those guys around them will do the same."
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.