NFL Playoff Schedule: Chicago Bears Win 35-24, Will Host Packers In NFC Championship!

The SB Nation Chicago Playoff Bunker is your home for all Bears playoff news, updates and highlights. For news on the rest of the playoff field, click here.

  • Live
16 Total Updates since January 10, 2011
  • Important 1
  • Updates 16
  • All Updates 16

NFL Playoffs: Bears Postgame Quotes - Lovie Smith, Jay Cutler, Greg Olsen, Brian Urlacher

LOVIE SMITH, HEAD COACH:

Opening Statement

“Kind of starting off with coach talk - start fast, pretty simple, but we needed to, to get the home crowd into it right away. Offensively, we can talk quite a bit about the offense. Starting with the offensive line, big challenge for them. Last time, they got a lot of pressure on us, but our offensive line, I felt like really took control. Whenever you can rush for over, I think, 170 yards. Matt Forte was outstanding as he’s been; it seems like for the last half of the season. Greg Olsen, you hear a lot about not using our tight end, Greg of course, big touchdown pass right away. But just throughout the day, just felt like he could make a play any time Jay would get him the football. But of course, it starts with Jay Cutler. Jay was, whether it’s running the football, of course, or just making the different throws we ask him to do, he was outstanding today. Our offense really gave us that boost. Defensive side of the ball, offensively too, over 60 percent on third downs. Last time out, we were 0 for 12. Third downs were really big this time. On the other side of the football, third down conversions were good. We didn’t get as many take-aways as we wanted, but they had control of the game. We had planned on matching Charles Tillman up, and pressing Mike Williams a lot more to try to get him out of the game a little bit more than we did the first time around and they did a good job with that. But, across the board, pressure, linebackers, secondary, all stepped up. We gave them that long return. Leon (Washington) is a good player, but I felt like we held it home with the special teams too. So, big win for us. Injury-wise, we came out of it in pretty good shape. Chris Harris went out of the game with a hip… But besides that, we’re in pretty good position. Going into this game, you can only look at Seattle. We had to get a win with Seattle, but now that we have beaten the Seahawks, it just doesn’t get any better as I see it then for the NFC Championship to come down to, the Packers coming down on our turf this time. The Packers and Bears to finish it up, that’s how it should be.”

On whether it was difficult to keep the team focused after the Packers win last night

“No. It really wasn’t. We knew what was there, of course. We knew the score and some of the guys had a chance to watch the game. Honestly, it was about taking care of business. We had the Seahawks in front of us and that’s why I was proud of how the team came out. Strong right away and we got the win.”

On how good Greg Olsen has become

“Greg gives us a good match up most of the time. Going to him on the first big third down, he’s tough to cover, whether it’s a linebacker or a safety, he has good skills as far as his speed and being able to get down the field. Again, he’s hard to cover. The plan was of course to get, not only Greg Olsen, of course, but Kellen Davis also involved. Big of course, touchdown pass to him.”

On how important it was to get the lead early

“Very important. As much as anything, when you’re at home, getting the home crowd into it. We will call on our crowd. The crowd was outstanding. We should have started with them too, from the start and we will need them next week also. But it was important to give them something to cheer about right away. That’s why getting up with points on the board was big.”

On taking heat as the head coach over the last couple of years

“Last couple years? Being a football coach, you take heat from the moment you become one, but that’s all a part of it. Just love our football team. Not being in the playoffs for three years, normally, you’re going to have to go through some things, but the guys have fought. We had a good feeling going into the season that this could be a good football team. Not having any injuries and just guys showing up the way they did today, each week, makes it all worthwhile.”

On whether he thought it was possible that the NFC Championship could come down to the Bears v. the Packers

“Yes, I did. When I look back over the season, I thought that after we played them up there. I thought it could easily come down to us, I knew what seed they would be, knew they were a good football team. A lot of people probably though it could happen this way.”

On what it means to make the playoffs

“Of course it means a lot. For Jay’s first playoff game, he’s undefeated in the playoffs, for his career. All of that, of course, is big for him… We have other players, too. A guy like Anthony Adams, who is playing his first playoff game. For the rest of us, it’s been a while, you go three years without making the playoffs, you forget what it’s like too.”

GREG OLSEN, TE

On the first quarter 58-yard touchdown reception

“There was two down so they came out in man-coverage. They know that we normally look to pass the ball but we ran the ball both times. We though we had a shot – it was third and short. Lawyer Milloy was up in coverage – good player – but we were able to get down the field and Jay (Cutler) was able to hold it so that it gave us that chance. He was able to hold it, I was able to get behind him and he put the ball where you’ve got to make that play. He put the ball perfect and we were able to score.”

On the play of the tight ends versus the Seahawks

“It was huge. Kellen (Davis) comes back on that crucial play and catches that big touchdown to kind of ice the game. It just shows you, players whatever you’re labeled or you’re position, if you can make big plays and make things happen for our offense you’re going to do it. Different weeks it’s different guys and that’s what we’ve said all along. It only takes one. One week it could be the backs, one week the receivers. It could be anybody and it makes us hard to guard.”

JAY CUTLER, QB

On his first throw to Greg Olsen

“It was a play we called up, didn’t really expect to go to him. We expect to go to the slot. The free safety really buzzed over the slot. He ran right past the safety and made a great catch. Got us going, got us in rhythm.

On his rapport with Greg Olsen

“I’ve been comfortable with Greg since I got here. He’s a really friendly target, works the middle of the field really well. Knows zones, knows when to sit down, when to go. This is nothing new. A lot of teams try to take him away because they know how dangerous he is, know we like to get him vertical.”

On playing the Packers

“It will be fun. They did a good job three weeks ago putting some pressure on us, taking us out of our rhythm offensively. We have to go back and look at that film and look at what they did to us. Obviously, they’re going to do some of the same stuff.”

On his running plays and the draw

“Yeah, it was called (the QB draw). The second one was a shovel pass and the guy collapsed, so I had to go. You know when it’s there, you take it. I’m not afraid to do that. Offensive line, I thought did a great job today. Gave me plenty of time, a lot of credit to them.”

On his first playoff win

“It’s fun. To be at home, to be in the situation we were in, with the bye, to play a team like Seattle that had a really big win against the Saints, we knew it was going to be a challenge. But like I said, we came out quick and that really got us going.”

On if his pre-game prep was any different

“No, no this whole week felt the same; very veteran team and they make a lot of the younger guys, guys who never were in the playoffs at ease. They kept everything even keel, this week had a lot of fun in practice and we came out here and it showed.”

On his relationship with Aaron Rodgers

“Yeah, I texted him after the game (yesterday) and said good game. We’ll have a friendly little banter. Impressive win they had last night. What they did to Atlanta on the road, is hard to do. So, we’re going to have our hands full.”

On preparing for this week, given the hype

“Yeah, with Green Bay, the hype is going to be there. With the rivalry and what it is, the magnitude of the game. We’re going to have to do the same thing we did last week. We can’t blow this out of proportion; it’s still a football game. They’re going to line up 11 guys, we’re going to line up 11 guys and whoever executes the best is going to win.”

On whether he paid attention to what was written about him this week

“I saw a lot of it; they showed me a few things. Mr. Reilly (Rick) was very happy with me and I saw that. It is what it is. Like I said, nothing outside that building is going to affect me, or hopefully anybody on our team. There are a lot of distractions, especially in the situation we’re in now, and we just have to focus in and do our jobs.”

On if he was going to be ‘warmer’ with the media moving forward

“I’m trying (to be warmer). Can you tell?”

On putting Seattle away

“Yeah, we missed a few things that first half, missed Greg to really put us in a position to put some more points up. I missed a few passes. There are a few things we left out there and a game like this you can’t do it, especially next week against a team like Green Bay.”

On growing up a Bears fan and playing Green Bay next week

“Yeah, doesn’t get any bigger than this. To be in an NFC Championship, playing at home and to bring Green Bay on top of it just adds to it. These next couple of days I’m going to take a look at a lot of film. They’re a really good football team, they’re really hot. To go to Philly, to go to Atlanta and now to come to us in Chicago, they’re used to the road and I’m sure their confidence is sky-high.”

GREG OLSEN, TE

On the offense’s fast start

“It was huge. Our defense held them to a three and out and we got the ball back, third and short and get over the top like that was huge, set the tone. The way our defense played, pretty much shut them down for the most part. The offense took that momentum and the next you know it was 28-0. That was huge.”

On trying to put Seattle away once they were down

“In these type of games, teams are never going to lie down and quit. They were here for a reason. We knew they were going to continue to battle back, battle back. At the same time we wanted to take it as an opportunity for our offense to kind of get used to this. To say hey, this isn’t a fluke, this is something we can do on a regular basis if we just continue to play well and pretty much we did that.”

On his inclusion in the game plan

“I don’t think there was any more emphasis or less. As we’ve said all year, some games the ball goes to some guys and some games it can be the receivers the tight end, the backs, whoever. I think the more guys you have involved the harder it is to stop an offense. Today just happened to be my day. It wasn’t anything special or particular we did. It just happened to be the way the ball went today.”

On Jay Cutler’s performance

“I don’t know if you’re going to get any better performance out of a quarterback in the playoffs. I don’t know what he threw for, but who cares. Two throwing touchdowns, no turnovers, taking care of the ball. Making those decisions, moving us up and down the field. I don’t know what more he could have done from that position in any game, let alone a playoff game. You can’t give enough credit to what he did.”

On being able to exploit the middle of the field

“Yeah, I don’t think you give enough credit to what our offensive line did. I know we had a few breakdowns, which weren’t necessarily their fault. They played great. Jay had some good time back there. To let the receivers develop. They played a lot of eight man box, they were scared of Matt (Forte) and Chester (Taylor) running the ball.”

On debunking that the tight end doesn’t feature in Martz’s offense

“We’re not trying to debunk anything or prove any points. I’ve said from day one, I’m happy to be a part of this offense, contribute and do a lot of things. Our relationship has been great. Guys are happy to do their part week in and week out. We don’t have any guys that say they need the ball or to have that many touches or if the game doesn’t go their way, pout. We don’t have guys like that. Everyone is all in. I think that’s a big reason why we’ve gotten this far.”

On his role or responsibilities in the offense

“Yeah, it’s no different. I have a few more responsibilities, so yeah, I guess it is different. A lot more pass protection. Picking up blitzes, especially on third down. I take a lot of pride in that, it feels real good when you pick somebody up on a blitz and Jay has a chance to step up and hit Jonny or Devin, or whoever for a first down. I take a lot of satisfaction in that. A lot of fullback, lead blocking stuff, playing back there in the backfield. As it has gone on, I’ve come to really enjoy that aspect.”

On answering questions all week about the Packers

“Yeah, that’s what makes it fun. If you could have told us that we’d be playing the NFC Championship against the Packers at home, I don’t know if you could have picked a better match-up and we’d have all signed on for it. Not question. We’re really excited. We going to enjoy this one and then get back to work, probably tomorrow.”

On the Packers' play yesterday

“By the time we got out of meetings it was kind of a blow-out. We got out of meeting it was half-time and it was 28 – 14, or whatever it was. Next thing you know it was 42, and we really didn’t get to see any of the exciting parts. But they looked good and we knew we needed to come out and make a statement like they did last night and for the most part I think we did.”

On whether there was a defining moment for Jay this season

“I think we came out of the bye and rattled off six in a row, or seven in a row and before today seven out of nine. I think that stretch right there showed what he’s, this offense and team are capable. We beat some good teams, went on the road, home, different environments. I think that stretch right there, when you win six or seven in a row in the NFL that’s not easy to do. It all starts with the quarterback. I think that stretch showed that this is his show.”

On ranking this game among the season’s performances

“It’s up there, but I don’t think it’s our best game. I really don’t. We missed some stuff. We were at a stalemate there, punting back and forth. We put a score up there late. We get third downs we have to convert those and keep drives going. We put the defense in a tough spot a couple of times there in the second half and those are going to come back to bite us against a really good team like the Packers.”

On preparing for Green Bay

“They do a great job scheme wise. They’re going to show you a lot of different looks, there’re going to fool you, they’re going to bring a lot of different things at the snap of the ball. They way they use those linebackers. Charles Woodson is one of the best in the league. They do a good job to disrupt you. We’re going to have to run the ball and hit some gaps and make them pay when they do some stuff.”

BRIAN URLACHER, LB

On the keys to the defense’s play

“We stopped the run early, the whole game actually. We played good. We got off the field on third down. We got pressure on the quarterback. We need take-aways but we did exactly what we wanted to do the whole game, until the last couple of drives there. Pretty good defensive game plan.”

On leaving the sideline during the game

“I had to go check on something in the locker room. Things are good though, thanks. I didn’t miss any plays, did I? I don’t think I missed any plays.”

On playing Green Bay

“They’re good. We know what they are. They have a great quarterback, great defense, so big challenge for us. We played pretty well against them here the past couple of years. Big challenge. Big history game. Only second time this has happened, someone on the field told me. Excited. Get a chance to play them in our place.”

On getting back to the NFC Championship Game

“It’s been a long way back. You know, we’ve had some bad years there. Coaches kept staying on us, we have some good players. We made some good trades and good free-agents. We’re back, playing together and hopefully peaking at the right time.”

On shutting down Marshawn Lynch

“They were in second and third and long a lot, so I think they went away from the run early. We did a good job the first couple plays; we got after them, moved downhill. He just didn’t get many chances, I guess. We’re a downhill defense, we got in the backfield, they were in bad situations to run the ball. They were down 28 points, pretty much took him out of the game.”

On controlling the game

“They couldn’t stop our offense the first half there. We controlled the ball for most of the time, converted third-downs. We did a good job on third-downs of getting off the field, on defense too. Like I said, just executing our game plan, first half there, first three and a half quarters.”

On Aaron Rodgers’ play

“He just knows where to go with the football. I think the Falcons had a back-up guy in there yesterday, so they took advantage of that. He knows where to go with the football, he knows what coverage you’re in, you’re not going to trick him. They change up personnel a lot, too, run a lot of guys on, off the field, trying to get you off balance, get you thinking about what they’re doing. You’re not going to trick him, he knows where to go with the football, right when the ball is snapped and he doesn’t make bad throws.”

On the teams play coming off the bye

“We play well after bye weeks. We do the right things during the week, we take care of our bodies, then get our minds right. It’s a week off to rest your body. You take advantage of it like we did, concentrate on your game, get your game plan in during the week. It worked out good for us today.”

On playing defense with a good offense

“We were on the sideline for most of the game. It’s easy to play defense when you’re not playing. We did a good job, our offense converted third downs, scored a lot of points for us. It’s fun to watch. They protected the quarterback. Everything on offense we wanted to do, we did.”

On where this game's performance ranks in the season

“We won, that’s all I care about. I’m not going to rate it. We won. It wasn’t pretty at the end there, a little frustrating. We won the game, that’s all we care about. It was a big win because it was a playoff game.”

On whether they got into Matt Hasselbeck’s head

“I don’t think so, no. You’re not going to rattle him too much. We did what we wanted to do. We stopped the run. Got them in second, third and long and pressured them. That’s what we wanted to do.”

On the condition of the field

“Both teams have to play on it. It stinks for both teams. I think it’s the same way in Pittsburgh, that field is not that great either. Both teams have to play on it. Our receivers have to deal with it, our DBs, just like they do. It goes both ways. It wasn’t bad today.”

On making the NFC Championship game when not expected to

“We expected to be in this game. We didn’t get a lot of credit all season long, but we expected to be in this game. We’ve been good all season long. You play a game, you expect to win it. Hopefully, we’ll win next week.”

On being one step from the Super Bowl

“For our whole team, not just our defense, it’s a team game. We wouldn’t be here without our offense. They carried us the second half of the season when we weren’t playing that great, they carried us. It’s big. Maybe we’ll enjoy it more tomorrow. It’s exciting to get back in play in a game like this.”

On Cutler’s play

“Awesome. Played great. I don’t think he had any turnovers or anything like that. He threw the ball when he had to. Threw it away when he had to, ran it when he had to. Awesome, for his first playoff start.”

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.