“Yes. Very good on defense, on a short week, all those things, on the road. Obviously history has not treated us well in Soldier Field, so obviously we all want to be able to go up there, play well and get a win. I know the Bears are coming off of a tough loss in the division, so they are going to be ripe and ready to play us. We need our best, there’s no doubt about it. I think this week, a lot of it’s about recovery from the game, preparation, just being really really sharp, getting your bodies ready to go, and then getting your mind right to go up there and battle it out and get a tough win.”
Is it a tough game coming off of a Monday night into a short week?
“Yeah, it always is, especially when you know just the type of game it’s going to be. It’s going to be a physical game. They’re a physical team; they do a lot of things very, very well defensively. You see it in the way they play, what they preach. It’s all about flying to the ball, hitting you hard, trying to get the ball out. They do it better than anybody in the league, so it’s something we’ve got to be prepared for.”
It’s a very generic but popular theory that teams tend to play better at home than on the road, and especially a team with your kind of offense. What’s true about that and what’s false about that?
“I think you can say the weather conditions, turf versus grass, and especially like Soldier field, that’s not like going and playing on grass in Arizona. It’s thicker, it looks like it’s going to rain there all week so it’s probably going to be a muddy, kind of nasty surface. You just have to be prepared for all of those things. The game, just as far as in and out of your cuts, maybe things are a little slower. You just have to account for all of those things. As long as you know what to expect and you can prepare for it, I think that you’ve put your mind in the right place.”
Why is this particular team better inside of a dome though?
“It’s a fast track (and) home atmosphere, all of those things. I think it’s very common sense in that regard.”
How do you change your preparations to play on grass like that?
“(You) Just have to make sure you have the right cleats and know the conditions, be able to prepare for them and then potentially the game plan is altered or just modified slightly due to some of those things. I can’t think of many games that we’ve gone into, despite whatever weather conditions, rain, snow, wind that we haven’t just executed our offense. We execute our offense, but be mindful of those things.”
Do you preach ball security even more against these types of teams and do maybe you have a shot at more big plays because of how much they go after the ball?
“No, I wouldn’t say (that). Typically, this has been a defense that does not give up a lot of big plays (to other teams). I guess if you look at the stats this year they’re probably more so than in years past. It’s still early, and I don’t think you can tell much from stats other than (that) they’ve gotten the most turnovers of any defense in the league. That’s been perennial; that’s been every year for the last ten years it seems like. That’s just the makeup of this defense. That’s their mindset (and) their attitude. They preach it; they do it. You certainly have to be mindful of that in your preparation.”
You start off 2009 4-0 and you start off 2013 4-0. The formula is different but have still started off the season in a winning fashion a second time. What are your thoughts on winning in different ways?
“I’m not going to sit here and compare ’09 throughout the year. I mean I hope we get those questions, because that means we’re winning. As I recall, those first four games in ’09 we were winning by large margins. The last two games, we’ve won by large margins, but prior to that those were right down to the wire. Last possession, last play for that matter. At some point you’re going to encounter those games, and the earlier they can happen when you have success earlier, you gain confidence, you gain momentum, and those are things that serve you well as you move forward throughout the season.”
The other night you acknowledged that the feeling may be similar to that of 2009. Is it OK to remember those feelings since you guys have been there before?
“Yes, and to be honest with you, those are the feelings you love so much because those are championship feelings and you want those feelings again. But every team is different (and) every championship journey I think is different (and) you know you’re going to face adversity at times; you know you’re going to battle through, win tough games, deal with injuries and do certain things at certain times, but that’s what makes the season special is the journey and going through those things. While you have to overcome some of those same things, they come at different times at different circumstances, and that’s why every one of those seasons is different.”
What are some of the things you miss about Jermon Bushrod?
“He’s a great guy. His first year as a starter was that ’09 season. Obviously, he was a part of that Super Bowl championship team, and a big part of it at the left tackle position. He was a mainstay. We all love Bush and wish him the best.”
How much can Aaron Kromer help the Bears since he was with this team for so long?
“I guess technically he could take last year’s playbook and give it to them, and they could have all of our terminology and everything else, but it doesn’t mean they know at what time we’re running those plays. I guess there’s certain things about personnel and such, just strengths, weaknesses, what have you, just by seeing guys every day in practice. There’s such a game plan and so many specifics each week that you just kind of have and you’re thinking about executing. Every week in the NFL there’s got to be some type of, whether it be a coach or a player who is now playing for another team that used to be at the year before. I’m sure that happens quite often, and it is what it is.”