1. The Bears have gotten off to slow starts in the first quarter. Is that a coaching problem or a player issue?
I think it’s a confidence problem more than anything. You have to be confident in what you’re doing. You have to go out there the first play, the fifth play and the 10th play and do it. You have to establish your identity of who you are on offense, defense and special teams. I think that’s imperative. If you don’t do that, you’re going to have problems. The players have to have a mindset that this is our job and here’s how we’re going to do it. I know it sounds easy, but that’s really what your job is. You have to get a supreme effort out of everyone. If it’s not important, then, hell, don’t even show up.
2. It was reported that the Bears are feeling “buyer’s remorse” over Jay Cutler’s contract. Do you think they are?
I’m not a general manager and I’m not running a football team, but I just think that if you make up your mind that this guy is the most important player on your football team, then you get him signed and do whatever you think you have to do. You have to be careful, though. It’s not always the quarterback. Unless that quarterback has great leadership qualities, I wouldn’t put that money into any guy playing the position of quarterback. You lead by example. I’m talking about a guy like Aaron Rodgers. I’m talking about Tom Brady. I’m talking about Peyton Manning. Not everybody can be those guys. But you can have some of the qualities and abilities that make a leader, and show that the guys on this football team look up to. I don’t care how much you pay a guy. But if you get paid a certain amount of money, then it’s your obligation to go out there and earn it.
3. With three games to go and no shot at the playoffs, would you go ahead and start Jimmy Clausen at quarterback in one of these last games?
Well, I think you’re making an admission if you do that you’ve made a mistake. I don’t think this is the time to do that. But if they go another game and nothing good happens, then I think they might. Why not try the other guy and find out what he can do. I don’t know what their direction in the future is. There’s no where else you can go right now. You’re in this boat, you might as well sell it.
4. It took 50 years for someone to do it, but Martellus Bennett broke your single-season record for catches by a Bears tight end? What did you think?
He’s a special football player. If they use him more, he could be—well, he is—one of the best in the league. They distribute the ball pretty well in Marc’s offense, but he’s not the focal point. He doesn’t see the ball 10 to 12 times a game like [Rob] Gronkowski. But I’m happy for him.