Print and Go Back NFL [Print without images]

Monday, October 18, 2010
Lovie Smith defends Bears OL

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A day after the Chicago Bears allowed six sacks -- giving them an NFL-high 27 for the season -- Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith defended his offensive line and said he is confident they will improve.

"We've won four games with this offensive line," Smith said Monday. "You have to keep in mind too with this offensive line, we work different combinations. I'm excited about this week hopefully having the same combination to start the game and play together. Hopefully all that will help."

The 4-2 Bears dropped their second game in three weeks with a 23-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. They started their fourth different lineup along the offensive line, including the left guard debut of former left tackle and 2008 first-round pick Chris Williams. He replaced veteran Roberto Garza, who is out after having knee surgery last week.

Smith said the musical chairs along the line -- which has included eight different players in the starting lineup -- isn't by design.

"Believe me, each week we haven't said, 'You know what? Let's try a different combination,'" Smith said. "We haven't done that. Injuries have forced us to do it a little bit, but we're getting guys back healthy right now so hopefully we can go with this same line again this week and just that in itself -- the guys playing together a little bit more -- will help.

"But it's not just the offensive line. It's all. There's a lot of thing we need to work on which most teams need to work on this time of year. We haven't peaked yet but we'll be a little bit closer to where we need to be after this week I feel."

The Bears play the 3-3 Washington Redskins on Sunday at Soldier Field.