Bill Belichick hosted a conference call with Chicago-area media this morning and had more to say about the Bears --- a lot more to say. Here is the transcript.
"They've really been an impressive team," the Patriots coach said. "They are certainly playing well lately.
"Offensively, [Jay] Cutler is playing very well. He's having an outstanding year. I've been very impressed with him. He does so many things well, his accuracy, his release, reading coverages, getting rid of the ball quickly, just managing the team. He's really playing well. They've got great skill players. Fast. [Earl] Bennett has really come on for them. [Greg} Olsen has done a great job for them in the passing game. Of course, [Matt} Forte has been tremendous with big plays, running, passing. You don't often see big plays made by players at that position as often as he makes them in both the running game and the passing game. He's extremely dangerous.
"[Devin] Hester, [Johnny] Knox, fast. Those guys are a threat to score on every play and it seems like they have gotten more comfortable with coach Martz's offense.
"The execution of it, as the season has gone along, they have been very productive running the ball in recent weeks and on third downs and in the red zone, all the situational things.
"Defensively, they are a very disruptive team. Great, great front seven. Guys are hard to block. They make a lot of big plays. Fumbles, tipped balls, pressure on the quarterback, you name it, every statistical category you could mention the Bears are right at the top --- points, third down, red area, rushing, opponent-passer rating. It doesn't make any difference what it is they do a great job with all of it.
"The kicking game starts with the three specialists. They have an excellent snapper. [Brad] Maynard has done a terrific job for them --- field position, plus-50 punts, getting the ball inside the 20-yard line. Robbie [Gould] is an outstanding kicker with a big leg. He's a very accurate guy and right at the top [among] the most accurate kickers. Kicking in a place like Chicago, which is a lot more challenging than other places in the league you can kick in, that says even more about the quality of his performance.
"They are very explosive team that can score on any play from anywhere. They can throw a 90-yard touchdown pass or Forte can make a 60, 70-yard run; strip-sack, turnovers, kick returns, they're very, very dangerous."