Sunday the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field for the NFC Championship and a trip to Dallas to play in the Super Bowl. Today, Jay Cutler spent his time behind the podium at Halas Hall, basically reassuring the press corps that that everything is going to be all right.
Will he play differently? More conservatively? "No, I've had the same attitude all year. You know, if we've got the first down, try to slide. If I've got to get hit or something like that, I'm going to do it. Whatever it takes at this point."
Is the offense ready?"We’re ready to play," he said. "I think we’ve had a great week of practice. Offensively, the guys are ready to go. I know everyone’s excited. We just have to stay calm. I’m sure there is going to be a lot of jitters early on, but we have to settle down rather quickly in that game and execute our game plan."
What about the Packers blitzing? "We’re going to handle it. Our offensive line has a good feel about what they’re going to do. They might not necessarily bring the house every time.... They might play a little more zone to throw us off. I’m sure there is going to be some new wrinkles so we’re just going to have to feel it out as the game goes by."
And my personal favorite question of the day, is it more important to play well against Green Bay "No. I haven’t thought about it. I’m not going to think about it. If we were playing whoever in this game, I’d want to play well. It doesn’t matter if it’s Green Bay. I know the importance of this game. I just want to play well because we’re in the NFC Championship."
Which of course, was the only correct answer. I always want the Bears to beat the Packers. But I always want them to beat everyone else. If Jay Cutler could play better against the Green Bay Packers, that would mean he wasn't playing hard enough against everyone else, wouldn't it? And shouldn't the NFC Championship game itself be enough of an incentive to play really, really hard?
And the press wonders why the guy treats them like a nuisance.
Lovie Smith was asked if he thought this match-up was a possibility when the Bears played the Packers in Week 17. He replied, On if he thought the Packers could advance to the championship game when they played in Week 17, "I knew that one way that we could end up hosting the championship game was for them to make a run and end up beating the one seed so I feel like everything has worked out. It has really helped us. I know they’re in the playoffs, but feel like they’ve helped us as much as anything, too."
One thing that both Cutler and Lovie both took note of, was the steady progress the team has made over the course of the season. There is no indication that this team has reached it's peak yet.