Cornerback Nathan Vasher sounded like a man who wouldn’t fight it if the Bears decided to go ahead and put him on the shelf for the season following the loss Monday night at Minnesota.
No kidding around this time, either.
But after listening to Lovie Smith talk about his desire to beat Green Bay on Sunday and build a little momentum going into the offseason, chances look good Vasher and all other non-injured bodies will be out there. Vasher proved he could return from his partially torn groin muscle, and forced two turnovers with a pick and a timely hit.
Smith figures to want all hands on deck vs. Brett Favre.
Look at what the Packers did to close out last season—they won their final four—and the team talked about that all spring and summer as being a building block heading into this season.
That proved not to be foolish talk, while the Bears’ motto of ``unfinished business’’ resulted in a bunch of cheap T-shirts they’d probably prefer to discard at this point.
``I think it will be a coaching staff’s decision,’’ Vasher said about playing in the final two games after sitting out 11 weeks, counting the bye. ``I’ll definitely go in and talk to our trainers because it definitely was our last shot at getting a playoff spot. We’ll see what happens. I definitely want to play, but I don’t know.
``I knew it was a serious injury, but being a competitor I felt like I would be able to battle back. Weeks turned into months and I still didn’t feel any better, our coaching staff did a great job of not putting me in a position where I was putting myself or even my career in jeopardy. Just even the team. I took my time with it and they were very patient with me.’’
Finishing has been the team’s rallying cry, and they’ve done about everything but that, with the loss to the Vikings a perfect example.
``It’s very disappointing,’’ Smith said. ``That was the tone, one of the key phrases we’ve used, and just what we wanted to do, what we thought we needed to do to take that next step. We weren’t able to do that this year. We haven’t been able to finish. We’ve had leads in quite a few games. For whatever reason, we just haven’t been able to get the job done.
``So this year, yes, it’s disappointing, but now we have to start trying to get some momentum going to try to accomplish that at another time, and right time I’m just looking at our team to be able to finish this coming weekend against the Packers.”
Remember all the talk about rookie tight end Greg Olsen being the man to finally open up the middle of the field, stretch it vertically, be the ultimate X-factor, become a complete mismatch for opposing defenses? Have you heard that before? All we’ve seen of late is Olsen the dump-off target, safety valve and check down
Olsen has one catch that’s gone 20 yards in the last six games, as much a sign as anything of one of the real struggles of the offense.
``We’re 5-9, so when you’re 5-9 you’re not able to do some of those things,’’ Smith said. ``Greg has a lot of talent and he’s made some good plays for us. But for some reason, it just hasn’t come through, it just hasn’t happened for us really.”
*** John St. Clair is all for more playing time if it means playing more left guard. He made his first start as an interior lineman for the Bears at Minnesota in the wake of Terrence Metcalf’s benching. St. Clair wasn’t celebrating in the promotion, but would like more action. He’s certainly proved himself valuable as a jack of many trades along the line.
``It felt good,’’ he said. ``Whatever they want to do, I’m a team player and everyone knows that. Whatever position they want to put me at, I’ll play as hard as I can. That’s all I can say. Of course, I’d like to be out there. I love to play. It is what it is.’’