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Write Now Blog

Bears focusing on next game; not 3-0 start

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 26, 2013 – 5:15 pm

The Bears are 3-0 for just the third time in the last 22 seasons. But as they prepare for Sunday’s NFC North showdown in Detroit, they’re not wasting any time admiring themselves in a mirror.

“It’s just three wins,” said linebacker Lance Briggs. “Three wins isn’t going to get you into the playoffs, so for us we need to keep etching away. This is a divisional opponent and when you play somebody in your division, you can continue to separate yourself from everybody else.”

Coach Marc Trestman certainly won’t let anyone at Halas Hall rest on their laurels. Asked what he tells his players to ensure that they don’t get too satisfied with their quick start, he said: “We’re not 3-0; we’re 0-0 and this is Game 1 of 13. That’s really the reality of it all.

“We’ve got to focus on getting better each day, and on Sunday we play Game 1 of the season. That’s how it is. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel here. There are no guarantees at the end of the tunnel, that 3-0 is getting us anywhere.

“It’s giving us a chance. That’s what it’s doing. Just like hard work each week doesn’t guarantee us we’re going to win, but it gives us a chance, and that’s all we’re trying to do on Sunday. That’s really the reality of it. That’s how we’re approaching it.”

The message has clearly been received by Bears players.

“We’re not even thinking about being 3-0,” said center Roberto Garza. “We’re thinking about trying to win this football game. Coach Trestman talked about it—what happens in the past is in the past. We’ve got to worry about this week.”


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Tillman sits out second straight practice

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 26, 2013 – 4:54 pm

Bears cornerback Charles Tillman sat out practice Thursday for the second straight day with knee and groin injuries. More will be known Friday about his status for Sunday’s game in Detroit.

“He’s day-to-day,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We’re hopeful and I’ll tell you exactly where he is tomorrow. We’re just not sure. We’ll see where he is in the morning. He worked off the field all day. We’re optimistic, but we’ll know more in the morning.”

If Tillman is unable to play against the Lions, he would be replaced by Zack Bowman, who practiced without restrictions Thursday after being limited by a knee injury Wednesday. Bowman has appeared in 60 games with 16 starts in six seasons with the Bears, recording 104 tackles, seven interceptions, 13 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

“We’re not going to put Tillman out there if the doctors don’t feel he’s ready to play,” Trestman said. “That being the case, Zack worked [Thursday] and he worked all practice and he’ll be in there to play [if needed] and then we’ll play defense.”

Tillman has started 51 straight games for the Bears dating back to the 2010 season opener. He has been extremely durable since arriving in 2003 as a second-round pick from Louisiana-Lafayette, missing just six games over the last eight-plus seasons.

In other injury news, cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad) missed practice for the second straight day. Tillman and McManis were the only two Bears who did not work out on Thursday.

For the Lions, running back Reggie Bush (knee) practiced without limitations for the second day in a row, while eight Detroit starters were limited: defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (abdomen), safety Louis Delmas (knee), tackle Jason Fox (groin), cornerback Chris Houston (hand), receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), linebackers DeAndre Levy (abdomen) and Ashlee Palmer (ankle), and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (knee).


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Bears gear up to face Ndamukong Suh

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 26, 2013 – 3:52 pm

Leave it to colorful Bears tight end Martellus Bennett to provide his own unique perspective on whether Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh occasionally bends the rules.

Asked Thursday if he thinks Suh is a dirty player, Bennett said: “No, hopefully he takes baths.”

The Bears may have a chance to check whether Suh washes behind his ears during Sunday’s NFC North showdown in Detroit. But while the 6-4, 307-pounder is known mostly for his questionable hits on opponents, the Bears are more concerned about Suh’s ability to disrupt their offense.

“He’s explosive,” Bennett said. “I think he’s one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. He’s just somebody you have to deal with the whole game. He plays hard and you have to respect a player that plays like he does every single play.”

In a Sporting News poll of NFL players in 2011, Suh was voted the dirtiest player in the league. He has been suspended two games for stomping on Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith, fined $30,000 for kicking Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin and fined $100,000 for diving at the knee of Vikings center John Sullivan during an interception return in this year’s season opener.

Suh is also a dominant player who has been voted to two Pro Bowls in three NFL seasons and teams with third-year pro Nick Fairly to give the Lions one of the league’s top tackle tandems.

“They’re strong explosive guys,” said center Roberto Garza. “They’re big guys who get up the field. We have our work cut out for us. We have to get ready for a tough challenge.”

Suh figures to be blocked at times by Garza as well as guards Kyle Long and Matt Slauson.

“It’s not easy for one man to block him,” said coach Marc Trestman. “Sometimes we can slide the line that way. Sometimes we can do it with the back. Sometimes the guards are going to have to handle him by themselves. It’s just a combination of things.

“When you go into a game, you say to yourself: ‘Where’s No. 90, and are we stopping him on this play? Do we have a chance to stop him?’ And when you can neutralize difference makers—and he’s one of them on their team—you’re going to put yourself in a better position to have success.”


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