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Highlights from Andy Reid teleconference

I’ve known Andy Reid since he was the quarterbacks coach in Green Bay.

What was evident then was his obvious intelligence, his obvious ambition and a desire to soak up everything he learned from the many good coaches he served under.

Reid hasn’t led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory yet, but he’s consistently fielded winning teams.

Here are some thoughts from his conference call with us today:

* On the Bears defense: “I’ll tell you, the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about this defense to me is discipline and hustle. That’s what they do. They just do things, and they do things the right way. They’re great a reading the quarterback in the pas game. They’re great at filling the gaps in the run game. They’ve got great leadership out there, with Brian and Briggs. They do a nice job. It’s a very solid defense. That’s a tribute to Lovie and Rod. They’ve done a great job there.”

* On the pursuit of defensive end Jason Babin: “Well, we had him here before, so it was kind of a unique situation. We had him here, and I tell people that was a real smart move on my part, letting him go, because he makes the Pro Bowl (in Tennessee). We enjoyed having him here. Obviously, we should have played him more. We made an effort, when free agency started, to get him back here. And he had a relationship with Jim Washburn, the former defensive line coach in Tennessee. So it kind of fit into what we were trying to do around here.”

* On why Michael Vick has steadied, after a rough start: “I thought he was playing well. We just had a lot of turnovers and penalties. In this league, that hurts ya. So turnovers weren’t all of his. He takes the blame, but they weren’t all his. Did he have some of them, but so did I. Part of those were putting the players in the right positions, part of them were the o-line, part of them were the running backs. Everybody had a piece of the pie. It was a matter of us playing better, and working through that.

We got another huge challenge this week, obviously. The Bears defense is obviously a really good defense. They’ll test us.”

* On similarities between LeSean McCoy and Brian Westbrook: “They’re similar. They’re both good in the run game, pass game. They both can block. Their running styles are a little bit different, but they both understood the offense and executed it well. Now, I’m saying this to you, with you guys sitting there with Matt Forte, who is pretty stinking good.

* On what jumps out at him about Matt Forte: “Literally just what you said. You turn on the film, and he jumps out at you. You think you have him, and then you don’t. That’s a pretty good quality to have, as a running back. He can make you miss, he can run over you, he can run inside, he can run outside, and he catches the ball like a wide receiver. Obviously, mike has a tremendous amount of confidence in him, calling plays for him. And Jay has a tremendous amount of confidence in him, throwing him the football. I don’t know him personally, but I have a feeling he’s a very smart player.”

* On Bears o-line: “I know the offensive line has taken some hits. But son of a gun, man, they’re doing a pretty good job.”

* On former Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka: “You’re saying that just right, because in order to do the Kevin Kolb deal, I had to have trust in Mike Kafka. And in order to bring Vince Young in, I had to have trust in Mike Kafka. Mike has got this huge, huge upside. He had a great preseason. The game that he got in to… He’s so tough. The South side of Chicago attitude, man. He’s got that.

Tough kid. And he loves to play. I’ve got to kick him out of here at night. He’s here til 10 p.m., knocking stuff out. Great representative of Northwestern, I’ll tell you.”