Bears coach Lovie Smith backed up Jay Cutler's plea for Bears fans to ''tone it down'' when the Bears have the ball in the red zone so the offense can communicate better with the opportunity to score a touchdown.
''First off ... I thought [the fans] were outstanding on third downs and firsts, all the downs,'' Smith said Monday at Halas Hall. ''The general rule is when our defense is out there -- that's the beauty of having the home crowd. When our defense is on the field and their offense is trying to get the different communications that they have to go through.
''When we have the ball offensively, yes, we would like our crowd to be as quiet as possible. Of course we would love you to cheer at the end of the play, but in between when we're trying to communicate, yes, we definitely need them to be quiet then.''
Though it was portrayed as an admonishment by some Bears observers, Cutler in fact light-heartedly encouraged fans to refrain from turning up the volume when the Bears have a chance to score.
''Please, please, please let's tone it down a little bit when we're down in the 20,'' Cutler said at his post-game press conference at Soldier Field after the Bears beat the Indianapolis Colts 41-21. ''You're more than welcome to yell and scream and do whatever you want to do after we score. But please, let's go ahead and quiet the stadium down and save it for after we score. Thank you.''