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Bears begin preparing for Rams

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 17, 2012 – 4:30 pm

Watching the Rams beat the Washington Redskins Sunday, it was clear to Bears coach Lovie Smith that St. Louis isn’t the same team that stumbled to a 2-14 record last season.

The Rams will arrive at Soldier Field this Sunday brimming with confidence after rallying to stun Robert Griffin III and the Redskins one week after nearly upsetting the Detroit Lions.

“The good part about not playing this past weekend is we had a chance to see a good football team play in the St. Louis Rams,” Smith said after practice Monday at Halas Hall. “There were some impressive wins over the weekend, but theirs was as impressive as any.”

Having lost to the Green Bay Packers 23-10 last Thursday night, the Bears returned to the practice field Monday. After an off day Tuesday, they will resume preparations for the Rams Wednesday.

“When you have a disappointing effort, you can’t wait to get back out on the football field, which we were able to do today,” Smith told reporters. “This game is huge for us.”

After Monday night’s game between the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, 20 of the NFL’s 32 teams will be 1-1. That includes all four teams in the NFC North.

“Once you start analyzing the landscape of the league right now, we have a few teams that are undefeated, but most of us are in that pack,” Smith said. “We can’t wait to play this week. We normally see a lot of improvement from Game 1 to 2. It’s got to be 2 to 3 this week for us because there are a lot of things that we all-starting with me-need to do a better job of and we will.”


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Forte not hurt as bad as reports indicate

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 17, 2012 – 4:04 pm

Bears coach Lovie Smith downplayed various media reports about the severity of the injury that running back Matt Forte suffered in the third quarter of Thursday night’s loss to the Packers.

“Matt Forte does not have a high ankle sprain,” Smith said. “He has an ankle sprain. As far as when he’ll be back, I don’t know. I was hoping he would look about the way he did today.”

Asked about the possibility of Forte playing against the Rams, Smith said: “We’re not ruling him out of anything just yet, but he has a long ways to go. I don’t want you to start thinking he’ll be out there practicing  tomorrow. He’s not, but we’re making progress.”


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Players react to Cutler/Webb incident

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 17, 2012 – 3:55 pm

Even though it occurred four days ago, the sideline incident involving Jay Cutler and J’Marcus Webb Thursday night in Green Bay was still a hot topic of conversation Monday at Halas Hall.

After Webb yielded a sack to Packers linebacker Clay Matthews in the second quarter of the Bears’ 23-10 loss, Cutler yelled at the third-year left tackle as they left the field and bumped him after they reached the sideline.

When asked about the situation Monday, different Bears players had vastly different perspectives. Center Roberto Garza focused on Sunday’s home game against the Rams, right tackle Gabe Carimi downplayed it, and nickel back D.J. Moore said he felt that Cutler crossed a line.

Garza stressed that the Bears are concentrating solely on the Rams. Asked about the situation with Cutler and Webb, Garza said: “What happened last week, it happened. Now we’re moving on and focusing on the Rams and what we need to do to win the football game.”

Carimi thinks the incident is being blown out of proportion.

“I didn’t realize how small the push was to me,” Carimi said. “I didn’t notice anything on the sideline. It gets just blown up really. Everything’s recorded. We were all just trying to win a game, so we didn’t even recognize it. I think we’re going to move on and we’ll be fine.”

Asked how he would have reacted had it happened to him, Carimi said: “Honestly, it was barely a shove. So I don’t think I would have even recognized it until it was brought up [by the] media.”

Moore disagreed with Cutler’s actions.

“I don’t think you can act like that, to make it seem like it’s just my fault or whatnot,” Moore said. “I think it’s just wrong. I would feel the same kind of way if he was to [treat] me like that. It would make it seem like, ‘Well, the reason that I’m having a bad game is because it’s what you’re doing and not about me taking accountability for myself because I’m throwing these types of passes or doing this type of read.’ It’s a tough situation.

“I think when you act like that with your own teammates on the sideline, it’s just something different that you normally wouldn’t do. You might say it in the locker room or something. But to do it like he did it is just different. It’s just weird.”

Asked whether he felt Cutler should address the team, Moore said: “I think it’s just him. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s not going to hold anything back. So if he was to talk to the team I guess you would kind of feel weird about it because it’s really not just his thing.”

Coach Lovie Smith said that he was more concerned about other things Thursday night, namely how the Bears were performing.

“Things go on always that you guys don’t see,” he told reporters. “You had a chance to see something that was unfortunate. It’s no more than that.”

While Smith doesn’t like when players are quoted anonymously, he had no problem with Moore speaking his mind.

“If you put your name behind something and you want to voice your opinion, you can voice it,” Smith said. “For us it was business as usual today. We’re getting our football team better.”

Asked whether he prefers a fiery quarterback like Cutler or one with a more easy-going demeanor, Smith said: “It’s pretty simple. I like Jay Cutler and everything that he is. I am not trying to trade any of our players. The week before, you didn’t hear an awful lot of this stuff.

“We were talking about how good we were and how we were playing. So we’ll get back to that where the focus is on the play on the football field. That’s what I was disappointed in: our play; the way we as coaches prepared our guys and the way we played during that game. But we’ll correct that. We’ve lost games before. We’re not the only team that has lost a big game that we thought we would win. But we’ll bounce back.”


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Bears sign Gabe Miller to practice squad

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 17, 2012 – 11:39 am

The Bears on Monday signed tight end Gabe Miller to their practice squad.

The 6-3, 257-pound Miller was drafted by the Chiefs in the fifth round (140th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Oregon State. He spent the 2011 season on Kansas City’s active roster but did not appear in a game.

The Bears had a spot open on the practice squad open after tight end Dedrick Epps was signed to the New York Jets active roster.


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Urlacher confident in Bears offense

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 17, 2012 – 10:15 am

Brian Urlacher didn’t expect the Bears offense to struggle like it did Thursday night in Green Bay, but the middle linebacker remains confident in the unit after its lackluster performance.

Jay Cutler threw four interceptions and was sacked seven times while the Bears mustered just 168 total yards and 11 first downs in a 23-10 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field.

“It was surprising to me,” Urlacher said Sunday night during his weekly appearance on FOX Chicago’s “The Final Word.” “To see the way we played the week before [in beating the Colts 41-21], we were all excited and we’re still excited about our offense. We’re going to be good.

“But they got pressure on Jay. They got some takeaways and we kind of got behind there early. We had to throw the football quite a bit. We ran it OK when we tried to. But they’re a good defense. They got a lot of takeaways early and it kind of put us behind there at the beginning of the game.”

After passing for 333 yards and two touchdowns four days earlier in the rout of Indianapolis, Cutler threw for just 126 yards versus the Packers. But Urlacher stands by his teammate.

“There’s no doubt that we can win with Jay at quarterback,” Urlacher said. “He hasn’t lost all of his ability in one week. He had a rough game. He got sacked a lot. He had a lot of pressure in his face.

Cutler has been widely criticized outside Halas Hall for yelling at and bumping J’Marcus Webb on the sideline after the left tackle allowed a sack to Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews.

“I’ve heard about it. I haven’t seen it yet,” Urlacher said. “I’ll say this: When the games are in that situation and you’re mad out there and things are going on, we do things we regret. I know I’ve done some things. I’ve said some things to my coaches I regret.

“I’m sure Jay regrets doing whatever he did. I haven’t seen it; I heard about it. We all do things in that situation we’re not happy or very proud about. Whatever he did I’m sure he wasn’t doing it to be malicious or anything like that and he probably regrets it. But sometimes you do things you don’t mean to do.”

Urlacher said that he doesn’t feel the need to talk to Cutler about the situation.

“Jay’s one of the leaders of our team as well if not the leader of our team,” Urlacher said. “He knows what he should and what he shouldn’t do. If he did something wrong, I’m sure he’s already addressed that situation with J’Marcus or whoever he needed to address it with and we’ll move past it. We’ll put it behind us.

“The only people who don’t let it go are the media. As players we move on past it because we have to. We have to get onto the next week. So whatever happened happened. We’ll put it behind us and move on.”


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