Locker Room Chat: Lovie Smith

The Bears were 4-0 after the first quarter of the season and already looking like the team to beat in the NFC. After a 40-7 obliteration of the Bills on Sunday afternoon that pushed their mark to 5-0, they look even tougher. Head coach Lovie Smith addressed the media after the game, and Bear Report was there to hear what he had to say.

Opening statement:
"I thought all four phases were outstanding today. The crowd right away from warm-ups was into the football game, and we gave them something to cheer about. Offensively, I think we scored the first five times we touched the ball. The offensive line blocked the way they normally block. Thomas Jones got his first 100-yard game of the year. We could go on and on. Cedric Benson came in and played well offensively.

"Defensively, the guys right now are upset about the shutout and felt like we should've gotten it, but they did a lot of good things. Mark Anderson had a couple more sacks today. Alex Brown had great defensive end play. Inside, same thing. Takeaways were big. Ricky (Manning Jr.), Lance (Briggs) getting the big interceptions.

And then special teams. Robbie Gould was outstanding, the coverage units were really big, especially that big takeaway at the end of the football game. We're playing some good football. It's as simple as that. We have a big game coming up this week on Monday night, and we are looking forward to that."

On the team possibly peaking too early:
"Hopefully, we haven't peaked five games into the season. We didn't play a perfect game by any means. We'll look at the tape. There will be a lot of things that we'll be able to harp on about correcting."

On whether the offense feeds off the defense:
"I think you can look at it the other way. When we went into the season, we talked about the offense being able to win each football game outscoring the opponent. Defensively, if we shut out everyone, we have a good chance to win. And that's why I think each group is feeding off each other right now."

On the play of rookie defensive end Mark Anderson:
"He has a lot of God-given ability, great speed and quickness, and has over a 40-inch vertical. You don't see many defensive ends with those type of numbers. As much as anything, we harp on having speed at the perimeter, and that's exactly what we have with him. We thought he was a steal when we got him in the fifth round, and it's looking that way."

On the status of injured defensive end Adewale Ogunleye:
"Wale has a hamstring injury. It's getting better, but we feel like we have depth on the defensive line. Ian Scott came in Saturday and was a little sore. It was a coach's decision (to make him inactive). We had other healthy guys. We want guys if they're up to be able to go 100 percent."

On the play of wide receiver Bernard Berrian:
"He's a big-play threat. I think after five games, what you see from guys is what they are. He's a big-play threat that we want with teams ganging up to stop our run. That's what Bernard gives us."

On the overall status of the team:
"I don't think you can peak after five games. We like what we see right now, but we also see a lot of room for improvement."

On whether it matters who starts on the defensive line:
"It matters to them who starts. But all the guys know that they'll play, and that's what's important."


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