Postgame Q&A: DE Israel Idonije

Half of the preseason is over with for the Chicago Bears, and they are yet to put together a top-notch performance. Israel Idonije knows it. Idonije talked with JC in the locker room after the game.

John Crist: I know you want to win every game you play out there. But after a disappointing performance like this one, do you sleep a little better at night knowing it's just the preseason and it doesn't count in the standings?

Israel Idonije: Every time you're keeping score you want to win, and it's disappointing. At the half, we had put ourselves in the position that we had come back, and we've got to hold on to it.

JC: You made a couple of big plays tonight. When you watch this one again on Sunday, how do you think the film is going to treat you?

II: I don't know. I did some good things. I did some things I've got to get better at. I got to the quarterback a couple times. I've got to bring him down with the ball, so a little disappointing there. But overall, we'll have to watch the film and see exactly how everything shakes out. There's some plays I wish I had back, but I was fortunate to get in there and have some production.

JC: Two games in a row now, you've been outplayed thoroughly on special teams, which is shocking. I don't want to say you're taking them for granted, but have you gotten to the point where you simply assume you're going to win that phase of the game?

DE Israel Idonije
Nam Y. Huh/AP

II: Absolutely not. I don't even know. Since I've been here, we've been a special-teams powerhouse. Last year, it was disappointing. I just think we've got to shore some things up, and I don't care who's stepping in to replace who, those guys got to be intense. That special teams is intense. That special-teams position is, guys are flying down the field. It's an intense battle, and guys got to realize that and pick up the intensity. That's what it comes down to. It's a one-on-one battle. If you don't dominate the man across from you, he's going to dominate you. So we've had some mistakes where guys, they've just got to pick up their intensity, focus a little more. Special teams, it's an intense six seconds of the game. So we've got things to work on. Two weeks, it's disappointing, and it's not who we are as a special-teams unit. We'll get it shored up. That's one think I know for sure. [Special teams coordinator Dave] Toub is going to make sure we get everything straight.

JC: Despite the final score, are there some positives you can take back to the practice field this week?

II: I think that first half, we had some plays we would have wanted to take back, but everybody stayed resilient and we were able to fight back and take the lead before halftime. And that's what you want from your team. When things are down, you want guys to stay focused, keep their head up and battle back and get in the game. And that's what we did, so that's a plus. Moving forward, we've just got to build off that. We've just got to start faster.

JC: What's it feel like heading back to Halas Hall after this game instead of down to Bourbonnais again, as you had to do after the first preseason game?

II: It's good. This is it now. This next week is going to be a full regular-season prep week, so this is part of what training camp is about. It's just another phase of it now. Rather than training camp in Bourbonnais, it's going to be a regular week schedule. Everything that we're going to do in the season, we're putting in. We're following those exact steps, and this third preseason game, this is the one where we've got to really put our best product on the field.

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John Crist is the Publisher of, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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