Injury Report : LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee) was held to limited participation today, but is expected to start Sunday. The Detroit Lions who, announced earlier in the day that kicker Jason Hanson is out for the season, had the following players on their report: Quarterbacks Matthew Stafford (shoulder) and Shaun Hill (finger) did not participate, and are not expected to dress Sunday. DE Kyle Vanden Bosch (neck) and T Gosder Cherilus (knee) were also held out. RB Jahvid Best (toe), WR Nate Burleson (hamstring), DeAndre Levy (groin), and TE Tony Scheffler (rib), were held to limited participation.
Insult Report : None today, at least from Chicago Bear linebackers. Reporters tried to draw out a comment from Lance Briggs, given the Lions ongoing woes and Nate Burleson's guarantee of a Detroit victory. he laughed it off calling it a, "trap question".
Brian Urlacher, when asked the same question, said, "I think we're going to win, but I'm not going to guarantee it."
Part of what makes Lovie Smith a successful (yes, I said 'successful') head coach, is that his level-headedness seems to transcend to his players. Like Lovie, they bring a mature, business like philosophy to their work. Of course, Bears players were aware of how they were perceived by the media earlier in the year, even while they were winning. And of course they know, those same reporters are in the locker room, and on television asking them about the Super Bowl.
They are one of the few groups who seem to grasp how much of sports reporting (especially in between games) is just figuring out how to get a rise out of athletes, and reporting it as 'news'. This team is one of the few who never seem to take the bait, when phrases like 'message game', 'playing for respect', 'something to prove', etc. are dangled in front of them.
The goal is always clear, go out and play your best game, regardless of whose on the other side of the ball. They don't think about making a statement, or whether people believe in them or not. They don't care what's being said in other locker rooms, and they don't waste time worrying about possible playoff scenarios. They don't get distracted.
In an environment where everyone is waiting for you to slip up, that's a huge advantage.
Shameless Self-Promotion : If you haven't already, I invite you to sing along with me, in my musical salute to the Detroit Lions.