Locker Room Chat: Bears Players

The Bears defeated the Vikings 23-13 on Sunday at Soldier Field and wrapped up the NFC North Division title for the second straight year. Once again, the defense and special teams bailed out another impotent effort from the offense. Several players were talking to reporters in the locker room after the game, and Bear Report was there to hear what they had to say.

Quarterback Rex Grossman
On his play versus the Vikings:
"My play wasn't very good, especially the first pick. That's something I should have seen. I was focused more on what Rashied [Davis] was doing rather than where their middle linebacker was. That's a poor read at a crucial time in the game when we get the turnover in the red zone. That interception was the frustrating one. Those are frustrating, and then we never really got anything going, and that again is something I need to fix."

On winning the division for the second consecutive year:
"I'm extremely proud of this team. I'm proud of what we've accomplished this season. Today just showed why we have the best defense in the league and the best special teams in the league, and there's a lot of great things about our offense. Right now, the passing game is not one of them, but it was great earlier in the year."

Cornerback Devin Hester
On his punt return for a touchdown:
"All the punts were kind of shaky because of the weather, and the wind was picking them up and causing them to drop early. On the return, it was a sideline left call. It was kicked to the right, and it was a bad punt. Short and rolled on the ground a little bit, and I picked it up and saw a lot of the defense rushing to the right side, and I brought it back across the field, and we sealed it off for a left return, and I hit it up the middle, and my teammates did the rest."

Cornerback Nathan Vasher
On the pressure the defense put on the Vikings' quarterbacks:
"It was really good to see the kind of pressure we were able to get. It seemed like everybody got a big lift in the second half. Devin Hester was a big part of that and special teams. That's why it's a two-half game, and everybody's excited right now."

Center Olin Kreutz
On the overall play of the offense:
"NFL seasons are like that. You're up, you're down. We've got four weeks now to get it right before we get to the playoffs, so that's a positive right there. But NFL seasons, you're up, you're down, and hopefully we'll go back up again."

Linebacker Lance Briggs
On forcing Brad Johnson's mistakes:
"Pressure. By pressure. You get pressure on the quarterback. You mess up the timing of the offense, you can have some success."

On the defense and special teams stepping up:
"From a defensive standpoint, we had some opportunities to do some things. We did it today. We just did it today. Guys took charge and created opportunities for our team, our offense and our defense."

On the first four possessions of the second half:
"We were playing hard the first half. We came out the second half and kept playing hard. You just can't give up. We kept at it, and things started happening in succession."

On winning the NFC North so early:
"There's a long way to go, but I did think at some point we'd be wearing this cap. I was hoping we could have put it on last week. This week's just fine."

On the defense's ability to continue to play like this:
"How many more games to the Super Bowl? The way I look at it is not so much of what is going on with the offensive side of the ball. This is the defensive side of the ball. That's where our priorities are."

Linebacker Brian Urlacher
On the play of quarterback Rex Grossman:
"I don't know what to say. I know he's not going to lose his confidence. He's struggled the last couple of games. We know that. I still believe in him, and I know the team does, too."

On the Bears' ability to force turnovers:
"That's our mentality. We don't want to turn the ball over on offense. Our mentality on defense is to get the ball back as soon as we can. We got some pressure on Brad Johnson early and made him throw some balls he probably didn't want to throw. Luckily, we caught them and made plays on them. We had a couple of strips. Guys are getting to the football and making plays."

On giving up so many yards of offense:
"When we're on the field, as a defense, we expect to make plays and get off the field as soon as we can. We've done that the last couple of weeks. It's frustrating to give up those yards. But like I've said all year, yards don't win games. Points do."

On people saying that they are 'winning ugly':
"We won. That's all I care about. Call it what you want to, but you've got to call us division champs. We won our division today. That was our goal coming in. We got it done. I don' care what people say. We're this, we're that. We're division champs."


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