John Crist: The run defense has been pretty good most of the year, but the pass rush has been lacking to some degree. How would you assess the defensive line's performance coming off the bye week?
Brick Haley: We want to get back to playing. We had a bye week, so [we] basically had some time to work on some basic fundamentals and things like that, and those are the things we want to correct week in and week out. It was good that we had this opportunity to go do those things, and then hopefully we've got some things corrected. And it's the second half of the season. That's what we're looking to, and we've just got to come back and finish strong.
JC: A popular question around town is: What's wrong with Tommie Harris? Last year he made it to the Pro Bowl despite playing on one leg, but this year the production hasn't been there even though he's similarly banged up. What's been the difference as you see it?
BH: I don't know if there's much difference. He has been banged up all year. You say, what's wrong with Tommie? Nothing's wrong with Tommie. Tommie is Tommie. He's had some things that have bothered him or hampered through his seasons and through his career, so he's working through those things. And I think Tommie will be Tommie. He'll be fine.
JC: Obviously you need both, but in this particular defensive scheme, is it more important for the tackles to help the ends get pressure or the ends to help the tackles get pressure?
BH: Well if you said the most important, you'd have to say you always start with the three technique. But I think it's a group effort. It's all those guys helping each other. It's the three techniques getting up the field, the [nose] tackle getting up the field, and the ends creating pressure off the edge, so I'd have to say it all goes hand in hand.
JC: Mark Anderson has really fallen off since getting all those sacks his rookie year. Is Israel Idonije's move to tackle permanent? Could you switch him back to end if you need some help in the rotation there?
BH: To say that would be to give up maybe some of your game plans. Izzy's doing good where he is. Mark, I think, is still working hard and getting better every week. Guys, I think, put a lot of stock into sacks and it's very important, but you don't get them every day. You don't get them every game. So I think he'll continue to progress and get better and do the things he needs to do, and I think all those things will come.
JC: You're playing the Lions this week for the second time, but they've got a new quarterback now in Dan Orlovsky instead of Jon Kitna. Can you build on the success you had against this team the first time around, or do you have to pretty much throw all that out the window because of a new signal-caller?
BH: That's a tough question, I guess. But what you've got to do is you've got to go back to your basic fundamentals and, as far as a game plan, you plan on what they're doing now. You can't go back and look at the past and say this is who they are. You've got to look at what's present and prepare for that.
John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.
Halas Hall Chat: Brick Haley
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