ChicagoBears.com takes you inside the locker room with quotes from Bears players following Saturday's win against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Jay Cutler, QB
How much sharper did you guys feel tonight than you felt a week ago?
"Still some things we have to clean up. We have to get some more red zone work. A few penalties took away some plays, but overall I think we got better."
What was going through your mind on that play the one-yard line over the shoulder?
"Just instincts takes over at that point, just playing football. Play for it out of bounds, didn't really see any need to try to extend that one on third down just trying to get into the end zone."
How fine is that line trying to walk knowing that it's a preseason game and wanting to make a statement?
"It's pretty fine. I got a few talks on the sideline so I am just lucky to get out of there healthy."
Can those plays kind of pump the other guys up? Seeing their quarterback going for it the way you did?
"Yeah, I mean guys get excited, but you still have to play smart. You have to realize that this one doesn't count. We have 16 real ones we have to get ready for."
Overall how would you assess your decision making tonight?
"Yeah we definitely improved. You know we are still missing some guys in the outside with injuries and we are kind of battling through. We got Matt (Forte) in and got him a few touches, but we missed some things out there. Red zone we want to improve, third down I don't think we were very good tonight so definitely room for improvement. That's why we have two more left"
This far in the preseason if you had to rank what the most important thing is for you what would it be?
"Just efficiency, getting another play in and out of the huddle, delivering the ball on time, getting use to why Adam (Gase) calls plays, what he is thinking. It's just a whole process that we are going through."
Offensive line tonight?
"Yeah did good, put Charles (Leno, Jr.) over there. Chuck was in there on the right side, thought he did well. We had a holding call, but I think we improved on some penalties. Went silent in the gun on the road, tested that out a little bit. But the guys came off the ball. I thought our running game was going again, especially the second half so there are some positives and some negatives."
Any concern on your part with Alshon Jeffery already out and Marquess Wilson getting hurt today?
"Yeah, I mean starting to run out of guys (laughs). Josh (Bellamy) stepped in and did a god job, Marc (Mariani) had some good returns, stepped in there. Did a nice job for us. So we have guys stepping up, but it would still be nice to have 17 out there and have 10 out there. Those guys are guys we are going to count on throughout the year."
Does that make you more or less conservative out there?
"Yes and no. There are some times where we are still going to have to push the gas and there are some times where we are going to have to say, 'We don't have those guys out there let's take the points here, lets run the ball, take the three and let's move on.' So hopefully we get them back sooner rather than later though."
How would you assess your week in Indiana?
"It's good. It's good to be back in Indiana. I haven't been back in a while. Practice went well. It's a great group of guys to go against here in Indy. Chuck (Pagano) and those guys were very hospitable so I think it's a positive."
Jared Allen, LB
How much did Wednesday's and Thursday's practice against these guys help you as a first-team unit?
"You can go either way. They know us as much as we know them. It helped for this game. We were prepared for this game. Coming off last week not finishing the way we wanted to as a first unit and just really getting challenged by Coach (John) Fox to bring our defense on the road and make sure we step up and start fast. Just having that emphasis and mindset, it was really good to see us really get together and start fast from a defensive standpoint."
As an outside linebacker, what do you watch that Pernell McPhee can do?
"He's a big kid playing at 280 (pounds). That's a lot of meat coming at you. He has a lot of football intelligence and communication out there. He brings energy to the table and a competitive nature and that's what we all want and we feed off of that. The guy is a heck of a player and he's going to continue to grow and he's young and he should have great days ahead of him."
*What's the next thing that you guys want to do heading into that third preseason game in Cincinnati? *
"Be consistent and continue to grow. Get a feel for each other up front. Rush lanes where we're going to be at. Take advantage of opportunities when we have them. The concerted effort and continue to get off the field. Eliminate plays. Grow as a unit from top to bottom."
When you're not thinking about making plays at the right time and you're allowing yourself to pin your ears back and rush the quarterback, are you feeling at that point yet or do you still need a little more time?
"Absolutely. It just depends on what the call is. We got calls where we have pass and runner responsibility, and others where we just rush. So I think you saw where we had calls where we just rushed and we had good heat on the. There's always responsibilities within the plays. Definitely much more comfortable. It's all situational."
With some of the pass rush disruptions tonight, especially with you guys not really blitzing, does it give you a sense of what you guys can accomplish?
"Absolutely. I think the defense creates one-on-one opportunities and especially to win early in the game with that. For guys to be able to get to the quarterback early that shows where guys are at individually. Training camp is a process individually. Overall, well done. Just trying to get the ball out. Guys are out there working hard to get better."
Kyle Long, RB
Was that about the workload you wanted?
"I don't care. It was good to be in there for a while. I definitely feel like we could have finished a couple of drives."
You're obviously showing a commitment to the run all night long that has to be music to your ears at this point.
"I mean I think it helps out the passing game. It's not on one guy's shoulders to carry everything. We just got to work on some of the blocking techniques so we don't get the penetration or hits in the backfield."
Anything unique for you getting used to Adam Gase's offense. Is it a little different at all?
"Not really. Throughout practice you kind of get the rhythm of it. It's a little faster in the game. It's really good to get out there and get the rhythm of the offense and see how we roll."
Jeremy Langford actually showed strong tonight - your thoughts on how he's grown.
"He's grown very well. He had a nice run, was really patient and set up the safety real well. He was able to break the tackle and get a long run. He's come along nicely. That's what we've been trying to do, establish that run and help the quarterbacks."
What do you like about his skill set?
"He's versatile. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He's got the speed and agility to make guys miss. He's what you need as a running back."
Charles Leno Jr. Jr., T
What was it like to be moved to the first team?
"I try to play like I'm the starter. I practice like I'm the starter. That's how I operate."
When did you know that move was being made?
"Mags (Dave Magazu) told me in a meeting before the game. So that's when I was like, alright time to go to work."
How did you think tonight went?
"It went well. I feel like ever since that penalty I slowed my technique down and got back to fundamentals."
What happened on the penalty?
"I got my hand in his face. That was it."
What's the key to stepping up now that you are going to have a heightened role?
"Just playing the way I've been playing, just doing my job day-in and day-out. Just focus on the play you're in. Being consistent is probably the biggest thing I want to do."