Lovie Smith asks fans for a little quiet when Bears are in red zone
By MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org September 10, 2012 9:08PM
Updated: October 12, 2012 6:17AM
Coach Lovie Smith backed up Jay Cutler’s plea for Bears fans to “tone it down’’ when the team has 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 ... 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.’’
Smith said he expects cornerback Charles Tillman (lower leg) to play against the Packers, but acknowledged that might be wishful thinking. ‘‘The glass is half-full, always,’’ Smith said.
Tight end Kyle Adams (shoulder) and J’Marcus Webb (thumb) also were injured against the Colts, but neither injury is considered serious.
‘‘We’re in pretty good shape,’’ Smith said.
The Bears did not practice Monday, but if they did, Brian Urlacher would not have participated, Smith said. Urlacher had two tackles and a pass defense against the Colts and sat out most of the second half.
‘‘I’m pleased with the way he played, first time out — you have to look at it like that, his first action [since last season],’’ Smith said. ‘‘When they’re cutting you live, having to take on blocks, I thought he did a decent job with that.’’
Rookie moving up
You didn’t even need to watch the film to notice rookie Evan Rodriguez’s impressive debut in the H-back role. Rodriguez, a fourth-round draft pick from Temple, had several key blocks, particularly in the running game. Eventually, he will be a used as a downfield threat in the passing game.
‘‘If you continue to play well, you’ll become a bigger part of the offense,’’ Smith said of Rodriguez. ‘‘He made a couple of good plays, not just as a blocker. We’ll do more with him.’’
With Adam Podlesh recovered from a hip flexor injury, the Bears waived punter Ryan Quigley and signed former Steelers offensive tackle Jonathan Scott.
The Bears also signed tight end Dedrick Epps to the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Cory Brandon.
The 6-6, 318-pound Scott started nine games for the Steelers in 2010 and five last season. Scott was cut by the Steelers in July and signed with the Lions. He was put on injured reserve with a knee injury and released by the Lions on Aug. 30.