NFC Championship Game: Bears Postgame Quotes, Lovie Smith, Caleb Hanie, Brian Urlacher

Lovie Smith, coach

Opening Statement

“First, I want to congratulate the Green Bay Packers. Mike McCarthy is a heck of a football coach and really had their group ready to go. Felt good about the effort that our team gave too. Came up a little short today. Early on, when you get down 14-0, that’s tough, 14-0 and you lose your starting quarterback. But our guys just continued to fight, giving ourselves the chance to win the game at the end. Again, going back to them offensively, too many big pass plays on their part early on. When we had the ball offensively, we weren’t able to get it on third down, it really hurt us. But again, we got it going. We got the running game going, got the passing game going at the end and never got an awful lot from our return game. But when you got a team like that, you know, it’s a lot of give-and-take. Again, there’s a lot of disappointment in the locker room, feel like we made progress with our program this year and eventually we’ll put that ring on.”

On whether it was a team or player decision for Jay Cutler to play

“No player decision. For us, Jay hurt his knee, he couldn’t go. He tried to go, that last series there of the first half, took a shot to the knee, tried to go, went in and worked on him a little bit at the half but he came out. He just couldn’t go, team, doctors and all, there was no decision really. He was injured.”

On if Jay was upset after injury

“Of course, everyone is upset in sports. But he was hurt and he couldn’t go. Trainers, doctors and all, they were the ones that really made that decision. Of course Jay, he’s like everybody else, disappointment he couldn’t go out and play and help his team win.”

On what play Jay hurt his knee

“Right at the end. I don’t know exactly. It was the end of the second [quarter] in the first half.”

On whether Jay tried to talk his way back in

“Hey guys, he hurt his knee and he was out, alright. There’s nothing else for me to tell you on that. I don’t know exactly when it happened, he couldn’t go and that was that. Let’s go to some other questions.”

On Caleb Hanie’s performance

“Felt real good about what Caleb was able to do. As the third quarterback, you don’t get a lot of reps but he stayed in the game mentally and really felt like he belonged there. We had an opportunity there at the end to tie the game and that was down to Caleb leading us. So can’t complain about his play at all.”

On Todd Collins being ahead of Caleb on the depth chart

“We thought Todd was the next guy that should be up, ready to go.”

On not receiving to start the game

“We wanted our defense to play, kind of simple as that. I think it’s tough on an opposing offense to come in and get the crowd into it right away. So we felt like we could get a stop right away. As much as anything we wanted the ball to start the second half, which we were able to do.”

On passing up a 49-yard field goal attempt

“That was out of field goal range for us. We had to be at about the 27 going in that direction, we were just a little short as much as anything. It was out of our range to feel like we could make it.”

On why there was no timeout on 4th-and-4

“Didn’t feel like we needed it. Had a good play. What would a timeout do if you can, if you have a play that you like there’s no reason to do it.”

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