Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Bears: Bears HC Lovie Smith

Opening Statement: "This time of the year you have big games. Coming in, two good football teams at the top of their division, we knew what type of football game this would turn into. The crowd, of course, was outstanding again; we definitely had home field advantage. Offensively, Jay Cutler was outstanding throughout. Whether it was throwing the football or taking off running the ball, I felt like he was in total control of our offense, distributing the ball around. Earl Bennett just an outstanding day for him coming up with big catches. Greg Olsen, you're talking about a great TD catch for him. But it's about that balance we talk about also. Matt Forte, of course, that was a big run for him but just keeping the running game going too. This time of the year too, if you look at one stat that really tells whether you win or you lose and that's turnover ratio and turning the ball over, just a great job by the offense. Defensively, that takeaway for Chris Harris when they had a little momentum, of course, was big. The defensive line had great pressure on a great player, Michael Vick, throughout the night; so pleased with them too... Of course we would feel really good about the effort if we hadn't given them that (last touchdown) but give them credit too. Pleased with where we are, in first place in our division. I like where we were before we started, contrary to what most people believe or think and we like this win."

On ranking Jay Cutler's performance tonight: "He's had some good performances and I have a hard time remembering exactly what's happened in the past, but I just knew he had a good week at practice and we'd seen signs of our offense making progress. With him plying like that, we're going to be hard to beat."

On this game being a litmus test: "We try not to get into too much of that. Perception this time of year really didn't matter a lot. We knew this was a big game and whether we've gotten enough respect or not, none of that really matters either. For us, with our schedule, we get a chance to play supposedly the best teams out there and of course, they stood up today."

On the team's progression after tonight's game: "I think we've taken steps each week. Even the times that we lost we found out something we needed to know about our football team. But yes, I would definitely say our arrow is pointed up. When you win four games in a row the way we have, we talk early about getting in position in October and making that run in November, that's exactly what the guys are doing."

On handling team's perception: "To be truthful we really don't. We know what everyone is saying about us but that really doesn't have much to do with how we feel, how we felt. As they've been talking about us we've been at the top of our division most the time. So that really doesn't matter a lot. Again, we are a confident football team and the guys know that there are still some things that we have to improve upon. But they'll go back to work next week like they always do.

On being the first team to beat Michael Vick when starting: "When you have a player like that that can hurt you, of course, running the ball or passing, you have to try and make him do one thing and we wanted to keep him in the pocket and make him become a drop back passer and try to beat us that way. As far as the pressure we wanted to keep him pinned in, just keep pressure on him and I thought we did that. But he is a great player and you can see why. Before our game he had won all of them that he had started. But there are a lot of great players and of course he is one of the best in the league."

On the defense's challenge and rising to it: "Well the mindset was of course they are one of the top offenses coming in and if you claim to be a top defense you want to play the best offense around with a special player. We talk a lot about special players, I mean Jackson, Maclin, McCoy they had a lot of good offensive guys. The guys took notice to that and they wanted to see how we would match up against them and they did a great job. You have to give the Eagles a lot of credit too; they are one of the best teams in the league also."

On Jay Cutler scrambling more: "As a quarterback you have to take what they give you a little bit and if the pass isn't there, what gives defenses trouble is when the quarterback can take off. We talk a lot about what Michael Vick has been able to do but Jay Cutler is an athletic guy too. He's mobile and during this winning streak he's had timely runs when he's really given us a boost."

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