He Said It: Coach Lovie Smith

Head coach Lovie Smith addressed the media in the interview room at Soldier Field after Thursday's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns, and BearReport.com was there to hear what he had to say.

Opening statement:
"After finishing up the last preseason game, I talked to the team about our training camp and the preseason we've had as a whole. I felt like we got the things accomplished that we set out to do. We're really excited about moving on and getting a chance to play against a good San Diego Chargers team. Tonight, we got a chance to evaluate a lot of the players. It was the last chance for them to show us what they can do and if they belong on our football team. We've had some young players step up, and of course we'll have some tough cuts tomorrow getting our roster paired down to the 53 we'll go with. There are a lot of things coming up. We vote for captains next week. We're getting our team set right now to make, hopefully, a good run to hopefully finish up as Super Bowl champions."

On tight end Greg Olsen's injury:
"Whenever you don't finish a game, of course there's cause for concern. Hopefully he won't be out for that long, but right now that's all we know."

On how Olsen got hurt:
"He fell on his knee. He went down hard. I saw it and made the catch and fell on his knee."

On why Olsen was in the game so long:
"He's not a starter. We played Danieal Manning. We had a lot of our football players still in the football game. Somebody has to play, and we planned on giving him a certain amount of plays and that's how it goes."

On which rookies made an impact tonight:
"We played a great game tonight. Plays that stand out in my mind right now? David Ball's catch. You won't see many catches better than that. Mike Hass made a great catch also. Of course, those stand out in your mind. But once you watch the tape, I'm sure there are some other efforts that we'll like a lot, too."

On how this preseason compares to last year's:
"I felt good last year also with our football team. I had the same feeling with the comment that I think this team can be stronger than last year, and I feel the same way right now. I think on both sides of the ball and special teams too, I think we have guys that can make plays. They work hard, and we'll go from there."

On how frustrating it is to have injuries in the last preseason game:
"I think any time you play a game and you have an injury, you're disappointed. Whether it's a game, practice, whatever, you want your players on the field. Injuries are all a part of it, but we've had very few injuries so we can't complain a lot."

On if four preseason games is too many:
"I definitely have thoughts on that, but I'll probably keep them to myself. You can look at how we use our preseason, and not just [us] but most teams gear towards that third preseason game where you play your guys the majority of the time. You get a lot from the fourth game. Mike Hass and Dave Ball, guys like that who had a chance to play tonight, they would say that this fourth preseason game is pretty important."

On the struggles of the running game:
"Well, what we're hoping to get out of it all is we are a running football team, so we will continue to run. Run to get yards, run to set up the pass and all that. Of course, that's what our plan was for tonight. Our plan was to get a look at some of our younger running backs, to get Garrett Wolfe a lot of plays and we were able to do that. We got a chance to see some of the quickness he's shown since he's been here. We got a chance to see him catch the ball out of the backfield. But rushing-wise, just running our basic runs that we believe in."

On Tommie Harris playing for the first time tonight:
"Ideally, he didn't want his first start to be the opening game of the season. We wanted to get him out there in his rightful spot with the first team. We were able to do that. I've said all along, Tommie has made progress. We've seen him in practice, and we chose not to play him until then. We feel like he'll be as ready as anyone when we make the trip to San Diego."

John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

Bear Report Top Stories