Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith
Q: Talk about the emotions of Monday – it was such a big game – and how do you turn around from that high to play another big game this weekend?
A: Tell me again…what happened on Monday? (Laughs) No, you have to move on. We realize that that was a big game, but it was one game. As you mentioned, it's a long schedule. You play the game and you enjoy it a little bit or you don't based on what happened, but then the next opponent is up, and that's the case with us. It's always good when we beat our rival but we have the Giants coming up and they're a good football team.
Q: After the Giants had five personal fouls last week, are you planning on doing anything to push their buttons or provoke them in any way?
A: No. It's just about us doing our job as much as anything. Sometimes those things happen a little bit. We're just going to try to play ball and not beat ourselves. I know that penalties can really hurt you at times – our guys have done a great job of avoiding penalties and hopefully that will be the case again this week.
Q: What do you expect teams to do about Devin Hester, especially considering that the Giants have struggled a little bit in punt coverage?
A: Well, teams have to decide what they do want to do. There was a time when most teams didn't kick – would not kick – to Devin because of what he could possibly do with the ball. He's gone through a streak – a spell – of games there where we hadn't really gotten a lot done with our punt return, but after last week he was definitely back last week, even the times we didn't score, I felt like he was a threat every time he touched the ball. It'll be interesting to see what exactly our opponents do.
Q: Did you ever talk to Mike Martz about fitting Olsen into the offense?
A: Mike and I talked. Mike and I have known each other for a long time and when I went out to hire a coordinator, I knew what I was getting from Mike – again, we've worked together – I knew exactly what the offense would be able to do. Most people on the outside were talking a lot about how we would never use the tight ends. I knew that wasn't the case in our Chicago Bear offense. We'll get all of our guys involved. You want to get the ball in the hands of your playmakers and I've been very pleased with how Mike and the rest of the offensive staff have done that.
Q: Is it Greg Olsen's versatility that makes him stand out and be so effective?
A: Yes, and you can take advantage of a player and use him in a lot of different positions like we've done. When you have a guy like Greg, as you mentioned, you can of course line up in the backfield as a fullback, he could be an end-line tight end, he could be in the slot, he could be spread out wide because he has the skill to do all those things. He can run routes like any receiver can – he has the speed to stretch a defense vertically and he's just a competitor – great hands – so it's fun watching him play in a lot of different positions.
Q: You said you talked to Mike but did you have to talk to Olsen about this because Mike has never really used a tight end. Did Olsen voice any concerns about this?
A: Well, did I have to? No, but I try to keep the guys informed on everything that's going on. As I was looking to make changes on our staff and we were bringing in different people, I let the players…you know, we've had a group of guys that's been around here for a while…I let the players know exactly who I was looking at throughout the process, so they all knew who I was looking at and of course what was going on throughout. From there, everyone has a history. Of course, Mike and running offenses has a history and guys could of course look to see what he's done in the past and they do their research but I think that the players around here kind of trust what we're trying to do and they know that we're trying to win football games and we wouldn't have brought anyone in if they couldn't use all of the weapons we have.
Q: What's your relationship like with Perry Fewell and have you seen any of your influence on him or his schemes?
A: Perry did a super job when he was here – in St. Louis, when we worked together and of course when he was our secondary coach here. Sometimes you work with someone in one place and if it doesn't work out you don't work with them in another, but that wasn't the case. For us to work together two different places says exactly what I think of him. He's a great coach. He does a super job. He's bright – great future ahead of him and they've done a good job with their defense.
Q: Do you think he's been doing a good job in New York?
A: Yes, I do and again, I haven't kept up with an awful lot of what's going on but I know Perry Fewell and I know that the guys will be ready each week and he's a good football coach.
Q: Did you think he might be your defensive coordinator?
A: We have a defensive coordinator here that we're very pleased with and he's done a super job with our guys here. Everybody ends up in the place that they belong. I truly believe that. Perry is in a great place up there with the Giants.
Bears QB Jay Cutler
Q: What's been the difference this year with Mike Martz, the new offensive coordinator?
A: It's a whole new offense for us, so we're still trying to learn it and grow in it. He does a great job of game planning, calling plays in the game, and giving guys opportunities to be successful.
Q: Is it a system that fits your skill set better?
A: It's just different. Mike is a quarterback-friendly offensive coordinator. He's going to give quarterbacks answers for each play. There is no gray area, and whenever you see a certain coverage, you know where the ball is supposed to go. If we have a play that's up and he doesn't feel good about it, there is a clear answer, or maybe there is a different coverage. He is either not going to call it or he's going to throw it out. In that regard, he definitely protects the quarterback.
Q: What have you developed with Greg Olsen as far as chemistry and how you can describe him as a player:
A: He is really coming into his own in this offense. He is really buying into it. We're asking him to do a lot of different things in blocking in the backfield, splitting him out wide, he's kind of a guy that we're shifting around all over the place and still asking him to play at a high level. We're getting him the ball in different spots, trying to create matchups for him. There is no real ceiling for him in this offense.
Q: Has the tight end position in the Martz offense changed a bit because of Olsen's ability?
A: Yes. From just talking to Mike when he got here, he's never really had a guy like Greg. He has always had the receivers and the blocking tight ends. He's never been in a system and come into an opportunity to have a guy quite like Greg with his ability to let him block and be on passers, protect, and let him get on the edge and do a lot of different things with himself. I think Mike enjoys having a guy like that and creating matchups for him.
Q: If someone told you before the season that the Bears would be the only undefeated team in the conference after three weeks, what would you have said?
A: You never know, it's a funny league. I've learned that in my short time playing that you never know from week to week what's going to happen. Each week is a battle.
Q: After a big win against Green Bay, is it tough to get up again for another game?
A: Yeah, this is a pretty veteran team. These guys have been around the block. They know the deal, and we're going to be able to bounce back. It's really early in the season, and so I don't think anyone is taking anything for granted yet.
Q: How would you describe your comfort level in Chicago and how good has the move been for you?
A: I love Chicago. I love being here. A lot of my family has been from around this area so it's comfortable for me to come here. I knew the organization and all about the history of it. Bringing Mike in really revamped this offense and has got this going. It has been really helpful.
Q: What about your relationship with Jonathan Goff?
A: Yeah, I know Jonathan. I played with him, we have a lot of Vanderbilt guys out in Chicago, too. He's a great guy, playing MIKE for them now. Downhill, athletic, can get back and can cover some. A tall, lengthy guy like we have with Brian (Urlacher).
Q: Any good college stories.
A: I don't. Actually I do, but I probably shouldn't share them.
Q: In this system, does having more deep drops leave you vulnerable to get hit?
A: We have quite a few seven step drops. We have some three, and we have some five. I think the basis of this offense is on the seven step drops and pushing guys a little bit deeper. Mike has done a great job this year of mixing things up and getting the ball out quick whenever we start to break down pressure-wise.
Q: Anything on the Giants defense that you haven't seen yet against other teams?
A: We have seen a lot so far with Detroit, Dallas, and Green Bay. Green Bay does some of the most with disguises, blitzes, and walkaround stuff than anyone else in the league. Once you've played Green Bay, you've pretty much seen it all. I'm kind of familiar with the Giants because they run a similar system that we do here in Chicago defensively. They have a really good front four and brought in some defensive backs to help them out. It's going to be a good test for us, they're a good, physical team.
Q: How is Devin (Hester) coming along as an offensive weapon?
A: Devin is coming along fine. I thought last year was one of his best years of learning how to be a receiver and going out there 60-70 plays a game, and just putting in a full game. This year, he is definitely coming into his own in Mike's system. His style of offense really fits what he can do, personnel wise.
Q: Your own progress with interceptions, how have you been able to do that?
A: It goes back to Martz giving us answers on each and every play, no matter what the coverage is. As soon as I identify the coverage, I know where the ball is going.