Lovie: Newton pretty good but Bears have "a few good athletes" too

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Lovie: Newton pretty good but Bears have "a few good athletes" too

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.

Honda Road Ahead: Blackhawks look to get back on track to close regular season

Honda Road Ahead: Blackhawks look to get back on track to close regular season

Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd break down the Blackhawks' upcoming schedule in the latest edition of the Blackhawks Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

There are less than two weeks left in the NHL regular season and teams are jockeying for playoff seeding.

The Blackhawks have the best record in the Western Conference with 103 points. The Blackhawks' next two opponents, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets, also have 103 points. Washington leads the league with 106 points.

Wednesday the Hawks will travel to Pittsburgh. Two days later they host the Blue Jackets.

After that, the Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins on Sunday. Boston is in line for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

"There's no easy games from here on out." Konroyd said in the video. "Even teams on the outside, looking in are playing for contracts next year."

Watch the video above to see Boyle and Konroyd discuss the upcoming matchups for the Blackhawks.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks lose to Lightning in OT

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks lose to Lightning in OT

Here are some of Monday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, fall in OT at Lightning

How Cubs came to fully believe in the legend of Kyle Schwarber

White Sox agree to trade outfielder Peter Bourjos

Bulls Talk Podcast: March is Nikola Mirotic's month

Raiders-to-Vegas the latest in long line of NFL relocation drama, some of which included the Bears

Why Cubs fandom was inescapable in covering the greatest story in sports

Derek Holland ends spring on strong note as White Sox down Dodgers

Ex-Bear Brandon Marshall an early favorite at NFL owners meetings

Increased velocity has improved Anthony Swarzak's chances of making White Sox bullpen

Cubs will have Ian Happ one phone call away at Triple-A Iowa