Locker Room Chat: Lovie Smith

On the surface, things should be just fine with the Chicago Bears. But instead, Rex Grossman is deflecting more questions about whether or not he should be benched, and Tommie Harris could miss some time with a knee injury. Head coach Lovie Smith addressed the media in the Soldier Field locker room after Sunday's victory, and Bear Report was there to hear what he had to say.

Opening statement:
"I'm so excited for our ballclub to win the NFC North two years in a row. That is hard to do. This year, I think we are the first team to clinch a playoff spot. It was good to get back home and play in front of our home crowd. They helped out a lot today.

"We had a lot of big plays on the defensive side of the football. We talk a lot about takeaways, and our team has done a good job of that every game this season. The interceptions were big, especially Ricky Manning's for a score. All of them were huge. Devin Hester really gave us a boost. He's a special player. I thought every time he touched the football today that he had a chance to score with it.

"Offensively, we didn't get a lot done today. We have to do a better job moving the ball and trying to avoid turnovers. I am pleased with how we ran the football, though. Thomas [Jones] had a few big runs, and Cedric Benson really came on strong running the football.

Tommie Harris has a sprained knee, and hopefully he will be okay. Nathan Vasher went out with a hamstring injury, and we will evaluate him, and hopefully he will be alright, too.

"We like the position we are in, but we still have a lot to do this season. It is good to get the first goal of getting into the playoffs, and from there we'll look to see if we can get home-field advantage because there is nothing like playing here at Soldier Field."

On his thoughts when Tommie Harris got hurt:
"Obviously, I was concerned as I am any time we lose any of our players. But hopefully he will be okay."

On whether Rex Grossman is still his starting quarterback:
"Rex is our quarterback. We didn't get the job done, and we turned the football over. We have won with him. The reality is we are 10-2 and won the division with Rex as our quarterback. We're not changing. With the offensive production we had today, it's hard for me to sit here and say all the things he has improved on. If we won the division title, I'm not going to sit here and tell you about all the things we're going to do to change what we have going right now because there's not a lot."

On whether this team is ready for the playoffs right now:
"We don't have to be. Right now, we're in the playoffs, and that is what we are going to concentrate on. It's hard to get into the playoffs, and for us to do that in the first week of December, then we're going to cherish that right now. We know we have to play better on the offensive side of the football, and we will."

On the team celebrating the division title:
"I've never been associated with a team that won back-to-back division championships, so to me and our football team, that is big. They are definitely celebrating."

On whether there was a moment when the defense took over the game:
"Right at about the safety or touchdown or whatever that was. Minnesota came back by changing the tempo of the game a little bit and made a run there at the end. But I thought we got control of the game then."


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