Transcripts: Smith, Ryan Press Interviews

Head coach Mike SmithOn Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford matching up with the Bears receivers:

"Well, I think it's going to be a tough matchup. Those are two really good wide receivers, and Marshall and Jefferies are both big guys. They both have some physicality. Brandon Marshall might be top five when it comes to physicality at the wide receiver position. They both can run, and they've got a quarterback that can throw the ball. He's got as strong of an arm as anybody in the League. He can spin it. He can throw it side arm, under arm. He's got the ability to throw from different positions."

On how Justin Blalock looked at practice:

"He was one of our limited participants. We had two players that didn't participate in practice today and that was Harry Douglas and Devin Hester, hamstring. He did not participate in practice today. We had a number of guys that were limited, probably six or seven. They'll be out on the list here in a minute."

On whether Devin Hester will play this week:

"Devin hasn't practiced the last three Wednesdays. Devin is a veteran player, knows his body extremely well, getting an opportunity to play against a team he spent all of his career with. I think he's looking forward to it. It's always good to go out and compete against friends."

On telling players to play one game at a time, or do they already have a good grasp of that concept:

"Oh, I think that you have to have an approach of one game at a time. We look at the quarter of the season, we're in to the second game of the second quarter, but you talk about it at the start of the quarter then we really don't address it. It's very important for us to have as much focus as we possibly can on the next opponent. Whether we're playing on the road, or at home we have to go out and prepare. We're looking forward to being back in the dome. It's always fun. I think it's going to be an electric atmosphere, and we have to have a great attitude and go out and play well."

On Martellus Bennett:

"He's' a very athletic big tight end, big target. Again, I think on their offense they've got guys that can catch the ball in a lot of different positions. He's a guy that creates size matchups. He's a big guy. We've also got to be prepared to stop, who I think is the engine of their offense, and that's the running back. He's a very good runner, and he leads the team in receptions. He has the most receptions on the team, not the most yardage, but it's going to be important that we're good against the run and also the short passes that he likes to catch, and he's a very good receiver and does good things when he has the ball in his hands."

On whether Jared Allen is still a good pass rusher:

"They've got some guys that can rush the passer. I think if you had to ask what is the strength of their defense, it would be their defensive line and their rotation. The guy that's leading their team in sacks has five, and came over from Detroit. He's a DPR. They've got two inside players that make up the other five sacks. They do a good job of rotating their defensive lineman."

On Kyle Fuller's success and whether they're surprised or not:

"Absolutely we looked at him. He's a guy that we did a lot of work on. He's got a great blood line; he's got brothers that have played in the League. He's very athletic. He can arguably be a candidate for rookie of the year through the first five games of the season with three interceptions. He gets his hands on the ball, he's very fluid and he's physical football player as well."

On whether the upcoming schedule looks a little bit daunting:

"The schedule is the schedule. You have no control over it. You want to put your guys in the best mind frame, and I think you have to approach it as the next game. I don't think you can talk to far out. I'll tell you, we're five games through it, and I'll put the positive spin on it: we're five games through the season, 'have we played as well as we like?' No. We're one game out of first place in our division and I think it's going to be a very competitive year. I certainly hope we get going and run away from it. That's the plan, but I think it's going to be very competitive. I think as always the NFC South is competitive."

On bringing Freddie Martino up to the 53-man roster:

"Freddie's been working extremely hard in practice. You get what you earn. We felt like having him on our 53-man roster gave us the best 53-man roster, and he's done some really good things out here on the practice field. Guys are always being evaluated, and they will continue to be evaluated all through the season.

Quarterback Matt RyanOn the keys to having success in the red zone:

"Comes down to execution. We had the ball in there twice last week, tight inside the five yard line. Really, I thought we had some good play calls up, comes down to players executing the way that we are capable of. We had some opportunities to score points and we didn't do it, but I think overall, body of work, this year we've been pretty effective in the red zone and we have to stay confident."

On third down efficiency:

"Third down last week was not very good. Obviously, if you're not converting third downs you're not going to win football games. For us to get back to it, it comes down to us making plays when they present themselves. We had a couple of opportunities to make some plays, we kind of missed on those, and we have to be rock solid in our protection, and I think our guys will do that."

On the importance of this game this week:

"I think every week is important, certainly when we get back at home I think that's a good thing for us. Smitty (Coach Smith) talks about it all the time, we want to be tough and defend the dome every chance that we get. It's the next one on our schedule. Obviously, there's' a lot of football to be played the rest of the year, can't worry about how things are going to shake out in January at this point. You have to just focus on this week, and I think guys have done a good job so far this week on staying focused on just preparing, and making sure that we're ready to play Sunday at 4:25."

On the last time they played the Bears and how different they are:

"They're a little different from a scheme standpoint. Obviously, we played Lovie (Smith) and Tampa a couple of weeks ago. Scheme-wise they're a little bit different, personnel is a little bit different. Some of the guys that we played against in the past are no longer there, and they got some new guys, so they'll create some new challenges. They're not the most complicated defense. They don't give you a ton of looks, but I think they're one of the most discipline defenses because they know their scheme inside and out and they play it really, really well."

On the difference in execution at home versus on the road:

"I wish we could figure it out to be more consistent week-to-week, but I think when you're at home, obviously from a communications standpoint it's a little bit easier. It's not quite as loud, and that helps us to a certain extent, but across the board I think home or away we need to be more consistent."

On what he sees from the Bears defensive line:

"They're still talented. They still have a talented front four. They do a great job; they're stout against the run. They're very good in their pass rush; they create pressure opportunities. I think as a whole their defense is second in the League in turnovers. A big part of that is because the front four creates pressure and forces some errant throws from quarterbacks. We've got to be on top of winning the line of scrimmage is going to be key for us."

On extra motivation for Devin Hester going against the Bears:

"I'm sure it'll be different for Dev this week. Obviously, played a long time in Chicago and has a lot of friends and former teammates that he played with up there, and I'm sure that'll probably be on his mind a little bit, but I'm think once the ball kicks off and you start playing I think he's such a competitor week-to-week he's going to give you his best regardless."

On the receiving core battle between the Bears and Falcons, the Bears secondary with Kyle Fuller – a rookie:

"He's (Kyle Fuller) got a couple of picks on the year. He's come in and taken full advantage of his opportunity. I think they're talented. I think across the board on their defense they're talented and they're solid, and they understand their scheme and they play well within their scheme. As far as our receivers versus their receivers, we're never on the field at the same time, so if we're worried about that stuff I don't think our mind is in the right place. I think everybody on our offense is focused on what we can do to try and score points against this defense."

On what the offense needs to do to execute better in another fourth-and-one situation:

"We've got to convert. Find a way. Doesn't matter how, doesn't matter if it's pretty or not, we've got to find a way to convert. Across the board, all 11 of us need to be better."

On how the offensive line looked:

"I think our guys did a nice job. Obviously, when you got three guys coming in that are new it makes it more difficult from a communication standpoint, especially on the offensive line. Guys get used to playing next to certain people, but I thought they did a nice job. I thought Mike Tice had them coached up and ready to roll, and I thought Pete, Harland and Gabe came in and played well."

On the new offensive line and whether he expects progression on their second week together:

"Absolutely. Mike Tice has kind of said it from the start. It's all about getting better week-to-week. We need to be better than we were last week. I think the experience of playing against a really good front four last week and being on the road, having to communicate, make those calls and trust the guy next to you, I think we'll be better than we were last week."

On being the leader on the field and whether he would get on to them if they made mistakes like he would the regular starters on the offensive line:

"I don't think you treat guys any different when they're out there. They understand they got a job to do, and I try and make sure everybody knows the calls, knows our checks, knows what we're doing and make sure everybody's on the same page, but as far as getting on to them and all that stuff, I'm the same every week."

On whether he views this game as a must win with the upcoming road games on the schedule:

"I think we approach every week the same way, we have to go out there and find a way to get it done. Like I said, it doesn't matter how they shake out, you have 16 chances during the regular season and they all count one, and we have to find a way to get it done this week."

On Lamarr Houston of the Chicago Bears snapping at fans on twitter:

"I think that's part of the deal, especially now, it's probably more intense when I first got into the League. People are going to have their opinions. You can't worry about it. You just have to go out there and focus on trying to do your job the best you can, and ultimately at the end of the day if you do that, and you win some games, all the other stuff takes care of itself."

On Jay Cutler:

"Obviously, Jay's a talented player. Played against him a bunch of times throughout my career, certainly has a really, really good skill-set, and they have a dynamic offense."

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