Head Coach Hue Jackson speaks with the media following the victory over the Bears. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Head Coach Hue Jackson
ON THE GAME
I have so many people to thank, but I have to reflect for a moment to Coach Davis because one conversation that I did have with him, obviously before he passed, was – he said, 'Hue, winning in this league is not easy and it's not going to always be pretty.' He said, 'as long as the team plays as hard as they can, you'll have a chance to win.' And he's right. I get disappointed when we don't do things as well as I think we can and I'm learning to enjoy wins as they stack up. We're a 7-4 football team and we earned that victory today and there's no question about that. When it was over, that was the voice that I heard in my head because I do; there's quite a few times that I go back and I think of the things that Coach has taught me about this league and how to win in this league and like I said, it's not easy, but I had one of the greatest mentors ever. Everything we do and everything we continue to do will be in his vision as I've said before. Now, I'm very proud of my football team. That's the reason why Shane Lechler and Seabass are on this team because those guys are phenomenal. They're phenomenal in what they do. They're the best in the league at what they do. We had to call on them today so many times and they just kept answering the bell and that's what you need your great veteran players to do and that's what our veteran players did today. We fought and we fought hard. We make games hard and I understand that and I know a lot of things will be said and written and all that, but at the end of the day, we're 7-4. We've stopped a couple of slides we had going - we've won at home now after losing two times at home; we scored in the fourth quarter finally, so we got a couple of things squared away. Hopefully, we can get some guys back here shortly on this football team so we can continue to keep growing. I'm very proud of this group of men. I'm very proud of this organization. I'm very proud of the coaches and the people that I work with each and every day because even when things weren't going the way we wanted to, everybody just...we just kept doing what we do. That's what this is truly all about. Sometimes it's not going to go your way and that's okay, but when it does, and when it doesn't, I think these people have been so consistent with our team, with me, with everybody. I also think today, and I didn't get the stat sheet so I'm going to state a fact, I don't think we had a bunch of penalties either. I'm very excited about a lot of good things that happened. We need to continue to get better and we will. We got a big ball game in Miami. Each and every game we play from here on in is going to get big and bigger and bigger, but that's okay. I think we have just the men for the job. I think from the top of this organization down to the bottom of it, I think we have just the people that we need to get this job done.
ON GROWTH BY PLAYING BEARS
It's called confidence. There were two teams out there trying to bully each other. They played hard. Credit to Chicago, they came in here, like you said, they don't want to fall to 7-4. We needed to get to 7-4 and they played as hard as they can play. I have so much respect for Lovie Smith and Rob Marinelli. Those are people that I've known for a lot of years and they came in here and played as well and as hard as they could and they have a good team. And as I told you guys before, I think we have a good team too. I know our guys are going to fight and I think the confidence level of this football team is starting to grow because I think they know they can play with anybody if we take care of business with preparation, practice, and then go out and play as hard as we can play.
ON GAME PLAN WITH LECHLER
He's amazing. As I've said, our two kickers are fantastic. Shane is as good as there is in football. There's not another punter or kicker in the National Football League I would ever want to have on the football team. As I said to the team when this was over, those are the two men that were here the last time this team was 7-4. Those guys have a lot to do with it because they did a tremendous job. But Shane Lechler - you can tell him where you want this ball kicked and you can almost guarantee that's where he is going to kick it. He didn't give that guy a chance to touch it. How about the 80-yard kick; is that amazing? The guy was phenomenal. He is phenomenal and I'm proud that he's on this football team.
QB Carson Palmer
ON JANIKOWSKI AND LECHLER
Those guys are game-changers. There's not many punter-kicker combinations in the league; there can't be a better one. Shane [Lechler], with as big of a task as anybody this week, we really focused on Devin Hester and I know Shane was focused on him. Some of the balls he hit just didn't even give [Hester] a chance and that's something that we needed Shane to do and we needed our punt team to really focus on Devin and he did a great job with it all day.
ON 47-YARD PASS TO LOUIS MURPHY
First and foremost, great call. Coach Saunders, Coach Jackson, the timing of it, the looks we set up to get it were great. At that point in the game [it was] just a great ballsy call to pull out. Louis hadn't had a bunch of catches all year and he knew that was something special for him in the package and just did a great job executing it. The offensive line had a tough game up front, [but] on that play they came around the edge and the O-line gave me enough time and did a great job picking it up and let me get rid of the ball.
ON THE GAME
It's just a big win. Obviously it changes the game when they lose their starting quarterback at the end of the game last week but I don't care what anybody says ranking-wise, that's a good group. Lance Briggs is as good as it gets at the Will linebacker, [Brian] Urlacher is Urlacher, Julius Peppers is a huge issue for every team that he sees. Not to get touchdowns is obviously something that frustrates you, but you can't let it frustrate you. You have to be happy with a field goal and getting points on the board when your defense is playing like that and be conservative at times, and on that last third down to Louis you have to be aggressive at times and we were.
LB Kamerion Wimbley
ON THE GAME
Coach is always talking about finishing the game so we wanted to come out and put together a good second half as well. We did well in the first half so it just felt good. I think we were in a good rhythm all night; we were playing with each other, everybody staying positive and we just came up with the win in the end.
It felt great, I felt like a running back for a little while. I just basically saw the ball tipped, reached out and grabbed it and started down the sideline. I saw Forte running and I was like 'oh my, I'm not going to outrun this guy; I've got to set up the block.' I saw some of the guys on my team in front of me so slowed down a little bit, got caught by an offensive lineman and now the guys won't leave me alone about it.
K Sebastian Janikowski
ON THE GAME
It feels great. I got good warm-ups; I was hitting the ball pretty good. Didn't expect kicking six; I thought it was going to be like two or three, but guys stepped up and we played good.
ON BREAKING RECORD
It means a lot; there's plenty more records to be broken.
P Shane Lechler
ON FEELING A GOOD KICKING GAME COMING ON
No, I didn't. In warm ups I was hitting the ball terrible. Usually it works like that; usually my golf game is the same way. If I have a bad range day I'm going to be all right on the golf course.
ON SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI'S PERFORMANCE
Yeah, I told him right after pregame right when we came back in here. I said, 'man, it looks like you're back on track hitting the ball smooth and with good velocity.' He split the uprights six times tonight which is tough to do in any business, but he came out and it was a no doubter the whole night.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey
ON BEATING THE BEARS
Any win is big, we are 7-4 and we are just trying to climb up that ladder.
ON DEVELOPING A RHYTHM WITH CARSON PALMER
We are; there are still things we need to work on as an offense. We couldn't get in the end zone. We got in the end zone late in the game, but it's always a work in progress, so we are always going to work hard to get back.
ON SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI
He means everything. My locker is right next to his and Shane's. They are everything to us, the punting, the kicking, the field goals. Without those two, I don't know where we would be.
RB Michael Bush
ON HIS TOUCHDOWN RUN
The line did a great job. I just saw a little crease and I just tried to hit it, stay low and get myself in.
ON THE DEFENSE AND SPECIAL TEAMS
The defense did a great job; we had like four turnovers or something like that. Our special teams came up big on the onside kick, our offense, we haven't been scoring in the fourth quarter, but we stepped up this time.
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HOME WIN
It was very important; to me it was like playoff football. We control our own destiny right now, so as long as we keep winning we will be fine.
TE Kevin Boss
ON THE GAME
It was a huge win for us. We can never make it easy there at the end but it was nice to come out on the winning side and get to 7-4.
ON CARSON PALMER
He's been a great addition for this team not only offensively but for the whole team in general. He's been a great leader for this young team.
ON BEING IN FIRST PLACE
It sounds great. That's what we talked about all week and we got there and we just have to keep it going.