Lovie Smith is a defensive minded coach, and because of that he takes pride in the defense starting games strong and playing a full 60 minutes. For the most part that is exactly what you get from the Bears, but Sunday against the Lions was an exception to what we’ve grown to expect.
“[The] defense really didn’t start the game the way we normally do,” Lovie said during his Monday press conference. “We wanted to play defense right away, that’s why we deferred. But for whatever reason, we didn’t start out [well on defense], but I like the way we finished.”
Along with Julius Peppers, one of the main factors that makes this season’s defense so good is the return of Brian Urlacher, who missed last season with a wrist injury he suffered in the first game of 2009. It’s been Urlacher’s play all season, as well as on Sunday, that has helped lead the Bears to victory.
“Brian Urlacher was outstanding,” Lovie said. “When we went over the game video he had 19 tackles. That’s the way he’s played all year.”
While Urlacher and the defense have been stellar all season, Lovie has been disappointed in one aspect of his group over the last few weeks.
“[A] disappointing thing that we’ve done defensively, the last couple games, [is that we] just haven’t taken the ball away enough. Zero takeaways [on Sunday] won’t get it done.”