Thursday, December 27, 2012
Briggs: Win for Lovie is win for camaraderie
By Michael C. Wright
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs won't ponder playing for another coach.
So to maintain status quo with the coaching staff, Briggs offered a solution for teammates as the Bears prepare to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday with a berth in the postseason on the line.
"If you've enjoyed your time here in Chicago, and the way that (coach) Lovie (Smith) has treated you and us together and this camaraderie that we have, then win for that. If Lovie's not here, that goes with him."
With Smith set to enter the final year of his contract in 2013, and widespread speculation concerning the coach's job security, Briggs said that by winning for Smith the team also wins for itself in regards to the atmosphere created by the coach that the players almost unanimously enjoy.
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher recently defended Smith, who is often regarded as a player's coach, and told Fox Chicago that "Lovie is the head coach of this football team, and hopefully will be for a long time."
Quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte expressed similar sentiments.
"I think everyone in that locker room is supporting Lovie," Cutler said during "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000.
After a 7-1 start, the Bears lost five of their next seven, and even with a victory over the Lions on Sunday, aren't assured of a spot in the playoffs. To get into the playoffs, the Bears need to defeat the Lions in addition to a Green Bay Packers win over the Minnesota Vikings.
The club experienced late-season collapses in each of the last two years, and headed into Sunday's game the Bears are 2-7 during regular-season games in December and January, which is part of why speculation continues to swirl regarding Smith's job security; although it's also debatable that personnel is the real issue.
"I've enjoyed every moment of being here in Chicago, and I don't intend on that changing," Briggs said. "So it's time to go out and beat Detroit."