Alabama coaching legend Paul Bear Bryant long preached that Luck follows speed. Along with that was the insight that The harder I work, the luckier I get.
No argument from linebacker Lance Briggs, who took issue last week when a question was raised about the role of luck in takeaways, particularly ones coming in the kinds of clusters being forced by the Bears.
Let me get this right, he said to the questioner. So youre saying me and Peanut and everyone has just been lucky?
No, that wasnt the suggestion.
Of course, there is a little bit of luck, but a lot of that stuff comes from really just playing hard, Briggs said. If Im not running to the ball when the ball is tipped in Jacksonville, there is no interception.
Its about how we play the game. If you play the game hard, there is some opportunities there; just dont miss the opportunities.
Briggs then made his point Monday night with a fumble forced from running back Mikel Leshoure inside the Chicago 20, recovered by Julius Peppers, who was lucky enough to out-maul a pride of Lions, to end a potentially momentum-changing Detroit drive.
Zackary Bowman marked his first game back in a lucky Bears uniform when he pounced on a punt muffed by Stefan Logan at the Detroit 27. That was turned into a Robbie Gould field goal.
Defensive tackle Henry Melton reached up a lucky hand and knocked the ball out of Joique Bells unlucky hands when the Detroit running back tried to stretch and put the all across the goal line in the third quarter. The fumble was recovered by Brian Urlacher. Luckily.
With 2:39 to play, D.J. Moore got lucky for the second time this year when he intercepted Matthew Stafford at the Chicago four on a fourth-and-goal.
The Bears lead the NFL with 21 takeaways, three more than New England and the New York Giants. Since the start of the Lovie Smith tenure in 2004, the Bears lead the NFL with 287 takeaways. New England is back at 260.
We practice it every day, Moore said. Weve got someone like Peanut Charles Tillman, who does it time and time again, and it gets contagious. Then you have Lance and Urlacher and all those guys doing it in practice, practicing, stripping and getting takeaways.
Its just contagious.
Jay says Jay OK
Quarterback Jay Cutler said Tuesday on his ESPN radio show that there is zero chance of him not playing next Sunday, although he said hed be good to go on Thursday instead of the usual Wednesday practice.
His coach is feeling the same.
From what Im told, hes OK, Smith told Bears play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak on WBBM-AM Tuesday. He should be good to go.
Joniak asked Smith what the coach thought of the hit by Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on which Cutler was driven into the Soldier Field turf with what looked on replays to be not just to tackle, but an intent to injure.
What hit? Smith countered. We hit their guys hard, too. I just refuse to believe there are guys out there trying to hurt each other.
At least one of his players can believe it.
Teammate Brandon Marshall went on Twitter to admonish Suh for the tackle but Cutler stayed with the code by which players and coaches pass on publicly denouncing apparent actions outside the rules of the NFL or professional respect.
"I think it was a clean hit, Cutler said on his show on WMVP-AM 100 show. That defense, you know going into it what their intentions are. They play hard football, they get after the quarterback, they're tough tacklers, that's just who they are. I'm not going to take anything away from him. I still think it was clean, and he's a good player.
And that's what makes him who he is, is playing that way."