Q: **More of a bigger picture question - Are you more tolerant of a penalty like unnecessary roughness if it comes in defending a teammate like what happened with Jordan Devey vs. the Jets or if it's more of a non-negotiable for you?
BB:I would say more the latter, the way you described it. We have to find a way to do things without getting 15-yard penalties. That's the bottom line. We're not OK with it. We can't get a 15-yard penalty.
Q:It seemed like you were playing the percentages on that last offensive drive, protecting the ball and running down clock and making them use their final timeout. Looking back on that, was there any thought of throwing there to end the game on offense?
BB: **Well, obviously we didn't want the game to end the way it ended on the last possession. We wanted to do better and do more than we did. On the first-down play, we forced them to use their final timeout, if I'm not mistaken. Then on the second-down play we ran it down to the two-minute warning. We lost yardage on that, that was just obviously a bad play. Had a play gone differently, we might have considered our play calls differently. On the third-down play, third-and-13 or something like that – the chances of getting a first down aren't great there. They were out of timeouts so at that point on third down, we felt like the best thing to do on third down was to run the ball and try to make them drive it with no timeouts. But first and second down, neither one of those plays turned out the way that we had thought or hoped they would turn out, so that led to a bad third-down situation. We have to do a better job with that, no excuses. We just have to do a better job with it. We're fortunate that we came out OK but it wasn't great.
Q:I don't know how much you've gotten into Chicago, but do you have first impressions on the Bears?
BB:Sure, absolutely. We've seen quite a bit of them. They're an explosive offensive team, got a lot of big play players – receivers, tight ends, quarterback, running back – a lot of guys that can hurt you and hurt you in a hurry. Defensively, a good front, a good pass-rushing team, active linebackers and secondary, play quite a bit of zone coverage. They don't give up a lot of big plays and they do a good job defensively of getting you off the field with their front, causing negative plays, batted balls, turnovers off their zone coverages. Break on the quarterback who's under pressure, that type of thing. That's kind of what they do. A lot of talented players on offense, a lot of guys that can hurt you in a hurry, tough group overall to defend because of the number of skill players and schemes, multiple schemes that Marc [Trestman] uses.
Q:Regarding Chicago's skill players – they are pretty unanimous in support of Jay Cutler. Just your overall impressions of him, what makes him so prolific?
BB:Well, he has an excellent arm. He can make any throw you want him to make. He's accurate on long balls, intermediate routes, on comebacks, inside cuts, good on the catch-and-run plays underneath the defense, smart guy. Reads coverages well, recognizes blitzes. If a team sends something late and they have a free rusher, he sees those things, he doesn't get blindsided or miss them very often. He has a lot of weapons and he knows how to use them, their different skill levels there. He certainly knows how to use the size of the receivers and tight ends to put the ball where only they can get it, they can box out the defender. He gives receivers a chance to make plays on the ball. A lot of times they can just go up and box the defender out and rebound it, make a catch even though they're actually, technically covered but not covered well enough to keep them from catching the ball. Cutler does all those things pretty well and he's mobile. He's a hard guy to get in the pocket. He has quickness and ability to keep plays alive.
Q:Does the fact that they are playing a division opponent in the Dolphins factor in your scouting process or history with them at all?
BB:Well, I think it's somewhat helpful that we will see them against a team we know well like Miami, to see how they match up against players that we're very familiar with. Not saying we wouldn't gain anything from watching their other games, but it's always good to see them play a team – the Jets, Miami – teams that we know well and we know the personnel of our division teams and look at it relative to how they're doing it against some of the Chicago guys and some of those individual matchups I think it just gives you a little better feel for it. But it's not like we don't get anything from watching the other games, but I do think you get a little bit more from seeing a team you know well.
Q:Chicago beat San Francisco and the team seems to have regrouped from some injuries. The Patriots always have a target on their back. Do you have a feel for that kind of questioning – on their season.
BB:Well, again, as we talked about last week and previous weeks, I really think that in the end, this game is about what happened this week. You can look at every team in the league and look back say, 'They played great this week and they played good this other week.' We can say that about us, we can that about the Bears. We can say that about every other team in the league too. I don't really know what all that means. I think what this game means for us is our preparation, which will be hard because we don't know the Bears [and] they're a good football team. We're not familiar with the coaches and the schemes. We're not familiar with the players. We haven't played the Bears in four years and that was a whole different staff and so forth. We have a lot of preparation work to do, so that will be challenging. Then we have to go out and match up against this team and perform well on Sunday. That's really what it's all about for me and for I think, for our team. I don't think it really matters how we did against some other team, whether it was good or bad, or how the Bears did against some other team that was good or bad. It's the matchup against us and them that's going to really decide this. It's unique. There's no other same matchup to look at. It will be this one and we have to do the best we can with the time we have to prepare for them to have a good game plan and go out there and execute it well and play well, perform well. It was a great win against San Francisco, coming from behind on the road and all that. That's in the past for them just like our games are in the past for us.
Q:Do you have a player that you coached in the past that reminds you of Brandon Browner - in terms of he's a different type of corner with his size – and working him into the mix after missing time is different than a smaller corner who has different physical makeup. Do you have any background with a player like that that you would fall back on in getting Brandon back into the mix?
BB:Well, I don't think, I mean, I've coached other players that are somewhat similar to Brandon whether it's [inaudible] guys like that. I would say that it's not really that significant to me. For Brandon – he practiced and did everything with the team all through the spring, all through the offseason program, all though the spring and all through training camp, including the Giants preseason game. Then, he wasn't able to participate on the field with the team for those four weeks but he was able to work out and be in meetings and keep up with the adjustments and game plan things that we put in from week-to-week. Now he's had an opportunity to get back on the field and refine those skills – at game speed or practice slash game speed that are important. That's really what it's about for and [Brian] Tyms too, for that matter. No different than if a player coming back from an injury where again, he's around the team. He's able to keep up with the mental part of what's going on in his area, his side of the ball, but he's not able to actually go out there and participate and get his timing and technique work on the field. That's the part that takes time and reps to gain confidence and to achieve that high level of execution that we see in the league now at this point in the season. We're almost at the halfway point. Teams have had a ton of practices, a lot of games, a lot of reps, a lot of meetings, a lot of corrections. I'd say overall as a league, teams are doing things pretty well, certainly a lot better than they were at the beginning of September. So when you miss that time and everybody else is moving ahead and individually, if a particular player isn't, he has to make that ground up. It's doable but it's still a gap.