Locker Room Chat: Lovie Smith

Head coach Lovie Smith always talks about dividing the NFL season into fourths, and after Sunday's dominating win over Seattle, his Bears have navigated the first fourth unscathed. Chicago is the only undefeated team left in the NFC after four games. Smith talked to the media after the ballgame, and Bear Report was there to hear what he had to say.

Opening statement:
"When you put that many points on the scoreboard, you're doing some things right. Rex Grossman had another outstanding night, and he just seems to get better each week. We had great protection by the offensive line. Bernard Berrian had a couple of long catches over 40 yards. Thomas Jones rushed for close to 100 yards, and Cedric Benson had somem quality reps. We were pleased with what we were able to do offensively. The defensive line set the pace with pressure on the quarterback. Tommie Harris has gotten a game ball each week, and it would be hard not to give him one for this effort. Those takeaways were really huge. Our defense really tightened it up after there scored three points on their first drive. It was a great team effort against a great Seattle team, and I think they will be a playoff team down the line."

On cornerback Ricky Manning Jr.'s performance:
"He's had a few things going on this week, but he really kept his focus on the football game. He made a lot of interceptions for the Panthers, and it was good to see him get a few for us today."

On how he kept the team motivated during the game:
"We came in at the half and told them the score was 0-0. We just wanted to stay aggressive with what we were doing and continue to pass the football."

On whether he relaxed at any point in the game:
"Maybe late in the game, but you never expect games like this. Tonight was our night. Seattle is a good team, and they had the same kind of game against the Giants last week. Our fans had a lot to do with it. They were into the football game from warmups to the end of the game. Our football team and our fans make a hard combination."

On whether they have established themselves as an elite team
"We just finished the first quarter of our season, and we're ahead after the first quarter. It's no more than that. We have a long ways to go and have a lot of improvements to make. It's not like we played a perfect game by any means tonight. We have a big game coming up against Buffalo. They had a big win this past week, so we'll get back to the practice field and try to correct some of these mistakes."

JC


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