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Thibodeau praises Lovie Smith, Bears for start of season

Updated: October 23, 2012 11:54AM

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has yet to meet Lovie Smith, but that didn’t stop Thibodeau from praising the Bears head coach and the 5-1 start by his team after beating Detroit 13-7 on Monday Night Football.

“I love the way they’re playing,’’ Thibodeau said on Tuesday. “They were great last year; they’re great this year. I don’t know much about football, but I enjoy watching them play.’’

That also led to the topic of the hit Jay Cutler took at the hands of Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and while Taj Gibson referred to Suh as a “beast,’’ Thibodeau focused on the toughness of Cutler to return to the game.

“Shoot, he’s a heck of a quarterback, I know that,’’ Thibodeau said. “Their team has a lot of toughness. They’re having a great year.’’

Considering the defense displayed by the Bears this season, it’s easy to see why the defensive-minded Thibodeau would have that appreciation. Asked if he was ready to compare the Bulls defense to what is on display at Soldier Field this season, Thibodeau said without hesitation, “Shoot, we’ve got a long way to go.’’

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