Lovie Smith has a trademark style of responding to questions that he either thinks are stupid or just hard to believe. The Bears coach slowly repeats the question with a slight tone of are you really asking that?"
Smith repeated a question on Wednesday on how his team would create a simulated Cam Newton in practice for his defense to work against.
How do we create Cam Newton in practice? Smith repeated slowly, then scoffed. You cant do that. Cams a special guy. Theres only so many guys like that.
Jason Campbell will impersonate Newton in practice.
But Smith, after according Newton some respect, then left little doubt that the Bears are not overly worried about the reigning NFC rookie of the year. In fact, maybe the real respect belonged somewhere closer to home.
Our defense, he began. Were talking about what others like Newton have to offer -- we have a few good athletes, theyve played against good athletes before and I think well be OK.
Smith defenses have indeed contended with the likes of Newton, and better. Smiths Bears owned Brett Favre and the Packers (6-2) once Smith arrived. They abused Michael Vick when he was an Atlanta Falcon and kept on beating him as a Philadelphia Eagle. Tim Tebow didnt beat the Bears in Denver last year; Marion Barber did.
Newton almost did last year. The Panthers put 543 yards and 29 points on the board, and the Bears recovered a pooch kickoff in the final seconds to secure a 34-29 win.
And just to clarify: Smith acknowledges that Newton is pretty good. He can even do some of the things that Jay Cutler can.
Jay Cutler played an outstanding game this week, Smith interjected into the Newton discussion. One of the areas that really helped our football team is when things are covered, having an athlete who can take off and gain yardage from there.
Cam can do all those things as well.