Notebook: On a Positive Note

ST. LOUIS _ Bears coach Lovie Smith couldn't complain about his first-team defense after another strong effort.

The Rams' first team offense failed to score and Charles Tillman picked off a pass to kill a threat. Also, the Bears' top three defensive ends – Adewale Ogunleye, Alex Brown and Michael Haynes -- each had sacks.

The run defense allowed almost as many yards on two Steven Jackson runs (40 yards) to start the game as they did last week the entire game, but rebounded and limited the Rams to 79 rushing yards.

"I was real pleased with how the defense played after giving up a couple runs," Smith said. "From there on I thought they did some good things."

T-Rex Extinct
Often-injured former Bears guard Rex Tucker signed with the Rams and was moved to right tackle.

As a result, he drew the difficult task of blocking Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye. In the first half Friday, Ogunleye beat Tucker for a sack of quarterback Marc Bulger, then beat Tucker again to get a hand on quarterback Jamie Martin and force a quick throw/incompletion.

First Impression
New punt returner Derek Abney struggled in his first chances since signing on Thursday.

He had two returns for 9 yards and fumbled inside his own 15-yard line. However, the Bears recovered.

Injury Update
Reserve linebacker Joe Odom suffered a concussion and left the game.

Tight ends Ron Johnson (knee), Dustin Lyman (ankle), fullback Keith Belton (ankle), wide receiver Eddie Berlin (groin), cornerback Jerry Azumah (hip surgery) and linebacker Marcus Reese (shoulder) did not suit up due to injuries.

Back to the Drawing Board
Team officials reported no further progress in talks with first-round draft pick Cedric Benson.

Benson was the fourth pick overall, and both the third and fifth picks have already signed.

However, after the game, general manager Jerry Angelo admitted the tone of the talks might change now with the team lacking its first-team quarterback and in need of any threat it can muster.

"I don't know how to answer that," he said about if the talks will be affected. "I would think that it would.

"We'll talk tomorrow."

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