Locker Room Chat: Lovie Smith

It was a roller coaster of an afternoon for Bears fans, but the Monsters of the Midway finished strong and advanced in the NFC playoffs. Not bad for a franchise that hadn't won a postseason game since 1995. Head coach Lovie Smith addressed the media in the Soldier Field interview room after Sunday's victory, and Bear Report was there to hear what he had to say.

Opening statement:
"Last night, I talked to the team about finishing. Last year, we were in this position, and we weren't able to finish the season the way we wanted. We talked about all we've gone through this year and how it would be a shame not to finish the game on a high note.

"Seattle did a great job coming back. Our offense was able to move the ball running and passing. We got some big plays from Bernard Berrian. The defense made some plays. We got to halftime, and momentum shifted to their side. Their first two drives were big for them.

"In the end, the defense had to make a stop. That fourth-down play was huge. And then the last part of the game, being able to stop their offense. Robbie Gould is going to the Pro Bowl, and you can see why.

"Mark Bradley hurt his ankle, and Jason McKie tweaked his a little bit. Right now, we're just excited about having a chance to host the NFC Championship Game against a good New Orleans Saints team."

About not kicking the 49-yard field goal in the fourth quarter:
"With the end, we felt like it was a few yards out of our range."

On the play of quarterback Rex Grossman:
"I thought Rex played well. Hitting Bernard early was big. Seattle did a great job getting pressure on him, but I thought he did a great job of staying in the pocket and managing the game. He led us to our 14th win."

On Grossman's near-INT on his first pass of the game:
"I'm about finishing. I always look at what happens at the end of the play. I think I had my head down when that happened, and I just saw the end of it and liked the ending."

On why he took the timeout with two seconds left in regulation:
"That was not a good play on my part. Our plan was to take the timeout with more seconds where [Seattle] would have to punt the ball. We wanted to give Devin [Hester] one more shot at a big return."

On what he's learned about Grossman this season:
"I've learned that he knows how to bounce back from tough situations. He's been roasted the past couple weeks over all different kinds of things. He is our quarterback. When you push him up against the wall, he knows how to come out fighting. There was a lot of pressure on him and our entire football team, and I thought they handled well."


Bear Report Top Stories