By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) Bears head coach Lovie Smith met the media Monday morning at Halas Hall and did not rule cornerback Charles Tillman out of Thursday’s game at Green Bay.
Tillman left Sunday’s game in the first quarter and Smith said he “took a shot on his leg.” Asked if he expected Tillman to play Thursday, he said: “Yes I do. Glass half-full. Always.”
The Bears didn’t practice Monday — it’s a double film day with the short turnaround for Thursday’s game at Green Bay — but Smith said Tillman, linebacker Brian Urlacher and tight end Kyle Adams would have been held out had the team practiced. He also said left tackle J’Marcus Webb would have been limited with a thumb injury.
Listen: Lovie Smith press conference
Urlacher would have been held out because of the ongoing knee maintenance. At this point, you can expect this all season and it would be a surprise if he didn’t play Thursday.
Adams took a shot on his shoulder, according to Smith and is sore. His status for Thursday is not known.
Advice For Fans
Smith double-downed on Jay Cutler’s plea to Bears fans to be quiet when the offense has the ball.
“When we have the ball offensively, yes, we would like our crowd to be as quiet as possible,” he said.
The head coach did say, however, that the fans “were outstanding when defense was out there.”
Melton Wants Double-Digit Sacks
Smith gave defensive tackle Henry Melton and Tim Jennings a lot of praise for the way they played Sunday. Jennings came up with two interceptions and tipped another pass that was picked off by Chris Conte, while Melton had two sacks.
Melton said his goal is to get to double-digits in sacks this season.
“I know if I get double digits then that means the defense is really thriving off of me,” he said.
The defensive tackle said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was pleased with how the unit played, but emphasized that they can’t let Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers step up in the pocket as often as Colts quarterback Andrew Luck did Sunday.
“We let him step up too many times,” Melton said. “He had extra time to makes plays which we have to work on. We’re going to try to get that right for Aaron (Rodgers).”
Improvement Against The Pack
The Bears were 0-2 against the Packers last season and you know that doesn’t sit well with the head coach.
“For whatever reason we didn’t play that well last year (against them),” Smith said. “Totally different team. We’re expecting too see marked improvement.”
Peppers At Safety?
No, Julius Peppers won’t be lining up at safety any time soon, but that doesn’t mean Lovie Smith doesn’t think he couldn’t handle the position. He said Peppers could play safety if they asked him to and added that the defensive end would be “as fast as any linebacker.”
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