HEAD COACH MIKE HOLMGREN
(Opening…) Well, another day at the office. Exciting football. First of all, I would like to give the Bears credit, they were on the road. Grossman I think did a fine job for them. Their defense has always been really tough for us, or anybody. And we were down 10-0 before we could blink. So, I was proud of our guys the way they battled back and got even. They hung in there. I thought we got pretty good pressure on the quarterback in the second half. It was a game of big plays, clutch plays. Obviously, it was a very important win for us. We're very happy with the outcome.
(On mixing up the offense, and going more toward the pass…) I don't want to make too much of this, because we are going to continue to do what we think we have to do to move the ball, and so much of that depends on Matt's decisions and that we're making plays. Catching the ball and doing what we have to do when we're throwing it, and protection. The Bears gave us some problems, we had some adjustments we had to make at halftime in our protections. And Matt got banged around a little bit, but he had a very fine football game, and that's what makes that happen. But, let's give credit to Mo (Maurice) Morris and Leonard Weaver and the guys that have to carry the ball and our offensive line. I think they like the way we are approaching it now. Like anything else, if it works it's pretty good. If it doesn't, try something else.
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(On the adjustments early on by Hasselbeck and Urlacher…) That is exactly what happens when you play these guys. It's no secret that we go up, and just like most people, but maybe a little bit more than some, that we will adjust and make adjustments and Matt changes things at the line of scrimmage and that is part of their game, too, to get us to change and then they do something else. Matt and the middle linebacker, in this case Brian Urlacher, they are playing that game within the game. So at times we get pretty close to the clock coming down, I had to call a timeout once. But Matt's a smart guys, he has played, and that is how we have to do it.
(On injuries…) In our injury report, we will be pretty sore, for the next couple of days. But I don't think there are any time-loss injuries out of this game. Rocky Bernard came back in. Matt is going to be very sore, he had something in his ribs, I guess, but he's a tough guy.
(On the Kerney sack and fumble recovery by Tapp…) That was the game as it turns out. In situations like that, your defense has to rise up and make that play. Make a play like that. They did a nice job of that in the game, coming up with big plays. Whether it was a knockdown on the fourth down play. There were a couple of passes there that I thought they were completions, and all of a sudden Deon Grant made a play, or Kelly Jennings made a play. It was good. It was a heck of a football game, going right down to the wire.
(On the return of Leroy Hill…) He worked out this morning prior to the start of the game, and we were prepared to put him down (inactive) if the leg didn't respond. He had practiced a little bit and it was pretty good, but he still had to show the training staff and the coaches that he could play. And he did, thank goodness. They liked what they saw.
(On the fourth-and -1completion for 20 yards to Marcus Pollard…) I am emotional at times on the sideline. When we tried to slam it in there twice and didn't get it, I was having awful thoughts. Matt came over and said hey, we don't want to punt this. We can do this; I can do this. He kind of brought me back to the world of the living. So, we had a good play, and that's what happened.
(On the strategy with respect to Devin Hester…) He's such a good player. Again, the Bears know that they are very good on the return game, and they know that if you don't kick it to him, they have other guys that can hurt you. He didn't hurt us too much, but we had poor field position as a result. They had pretty good field position as a result of what we were trying to do in our kicking game. There is a decision to make there. Either you kick it down there to him and rally around and try to tackle him. But you saw, the guy is really good. I would hope that Josh Brown wouldn't have to make too many tackles on our special teams.
(On the value of the win…) The beauty of our team is that they are pretty unselfish guys, they really are. What I try to tell them is that when the team wins, we all win, and you [also] win as an individual. Everybody wins. In this game everybody contributed. Everybody. I think when I look at the film I am going to feel that every third of our team (offense, defense and special teams) contributed to the win. No question.
(On the play of Deion Branch…) He made a couple of nice catches, and I think he was feeling his way just a little bit and seeing how that was going to be. I am hopeful that when he comes in and I see him tomorrow that the foot still feels pretty good.
(On how the Bears avoided kicking to Nate Burleson…) They kicked it along the ground once. They directional kicked it. I think that Nate Burleson is also a respected return guy in the league. That's what you have to do when you are looking at all of that film on special teams. On the last punt, I told Plackemeier to kick it out of bounds. I don't care how long it goes, but kick it out of bounds. I do not want the ball in play, and of course he kicked it up into the upper deck. That's what you have to do when you have that much respect for one of those return guys, and I think it is valid, I think it is earned by those two young men.
(On putting Bobby Engram in to receive the punt inside the 10…) Bobby is going to go in there, he is a little older, he has been in that situation more than Nate. I really don't want them returning punts [inside the 10], even though Nate returned a touchdown against somebody for 95 yards, usually it doesn't work that way. I don't want to catch punts down inside the 10. And Bobby makes pretty good decisions there. Nate watches it, and he eventually he will do the same thing. But right now we are going to do that.
(On whether this game felt like the New Orleans game…) It flashed through my mind, I will tell you that. We couldn't start a game any poorer in both situations. I think our team right now really, though, is at a point where we are better able to deal with that. I don't think it is a good way to start, and I hope we don't do it any more. And, you almost can't pull it off if you're on the road. But at home, our fans stayed with us, bless their hearts, and they made it very difficult the whole game for the Bears. I thought about it just for a second there, yes.
Have a nice Thanksgiving, everybody.