In case anyone was forgetting, during the span of about 11 minutes of time at the podium on Wednesday, coach Lovie Smith saw fit to mention that the Bears are 8-5. Not that anyone asked what the record was, but
The sense here is that Smith likely has mentioned that as many or more times to his players and coaches. Hes not mentioning that theyve lost four of their last five games. Hes not mentioning that the Bears need to win some or all of their final three games to reach the postseason. Hes not reminding his team that its lost to the Green Bay Packers five straight times.
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The public, or at least a large portion of it, doesnt need to be convinced that the Bears are 8-5. As for the Bears themselves, however
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall came in for his weeklyWednesday chat with the media carrying a Christmas twig, nicely decorated and with a recording of jazz legend Vince Guaraldis A Charlie Brown Christmas playing.
READ: Brandon Marshall on GB: "This is personal."
Marshall, like Smith, was sending a message to more than those in the Halas Hall press room. It isnt the media who need to believe that the Bears are an 8-5 football team.
Well, yeah, metaphorically, our season looks like this tree right now where were standing, Marshall began. Barren. Ugly.
But theres still hope. As a kid, it doesnt matter how your Christmas tree looks. Youre still waiting for Christmas Day. You have hopes and dreams that Santas going to bring you those things you ask for. Its always a possibility.
Where we stand today, our goal is to win the NFC championship, beat the Green Bay Packers, win the Super Bowl. All of that still can be under this Christmas tree. Whenever youre down, youve got to try to create some type of balance, so this is a perfect little thing for me to keep me going.
In that direction as well:
The normal NFL players week begins in earnest with a full practice on Wednesday. This is anything but a normal week for the Bears, however.
With injuries taking down members of every position group, Smith changed to a second practice session in sweats rather than a practice in some form of uniform.
We have a lot of guys banged up today, and just felt like we could get more work done, meetings, Smith said. Just felt like another day to heal up would benefit us more than trying to go out there and having guys double up on a lot of things.
But the Bears need to heal more than just physical bruises.
The locker room in Minnesota, after a fourth loss in five games, was somber in ways indicative of more than just the after effects of one loss. More like a fourth in five games.
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Thats why I think we need to relax a little bit, said offensive coordinator Mike Tice. I dont know why guysIm hoping its not me putting stress on them. I try to keep it loose and have fun.
But at a certain point, we have to look at every reason why guys arent relaxing and making those plays, because they make them in practice. Practices have been sound and sharp, and no balls on the ground in practice.