After a talking-to from coach Lovie Smith, cornerback D.J. Moore said, “I probably shouldn’t have,” been publicly critical of Jay Cutler’s sidelines antics vs. the Packers.
Moore did not take back his contention that Cutler was wrong for bumping offensive lineman J’Marcus Webb and for not accepting more of the blame, but he probably won’t be nearly as vocal in the future, based on Smith’s reaction.
“I talk to the players about anything that’s related to our football team,” Smith said, “about how we should act on and off the football field. There’s just not an approach you take when something happens. There’s constant communication going on with our football team on what it’s like and what is expected of them being a Chicago Bear.”
Smith’s message to the players seems to be mixed, though.
“I talk to our players, but I don’t tell them what to say, and I don’t stop them from saying anything,” he said. “If you have something to say, just make sure you put your name behind it. That’s the message. But the message to our football team is that we’re a team. There’s a reason why you don’t let everybody in. There are things that you should keep within our group. That’s been a base part of who we are since I’ve been here, and it will continue to be that way.”
Brandon Marshall has played against the Rams’ feisty, agitating cornerback Cortland Finnegan twice, both times when Marshall was a Bronco and Finnegan a Titan.
Marshall has a total of 7 catches for 90 yards and 1 TD in those games, and he knows what a nuisance the Pro Bowl corner can be.
“It says that you take on the character of your leader, so in the secondary you can see them doing the extra stuff after the whistle,” Marshall said. “That’s how Cortland approaches the game. That’s how he plays, so they’re a feisty bunch. We have to keep our composure, stay cool, and I’ll have my conversation with coach Lovie (Smith) and maybe (G.M.) Phil (Emery) and tell them I may get ejected from this game if Cortland does the little cheap stuff …”
Then Marshall laughed, but he also had a request for Finnegan.
“I’m just playing,” he said. “I retract that. Cortland and I have a great relationship. I have his jersey up in my locker room. ‘Cortland, just stay (within) the whistle, so we both can get the (game) check in Week 4, OK?’”
Changing of the guard:
Chilo Rachal was a starter in San Francisco who was benched last season. Now he’s going from the Bears’ bench to the starting lineup but only after losing a training camp battle at left guard with Chris Spencer, the man he now replaces.
“It made me hungrier but also humbled me,” Rachal said of his past disappointments. “From me being a starter to having to take a seat it just gave me a different perspective of the game and learning it in the classroom as a student. But also I’m hungry — beyond hungry. I think hungry is an understatement.”
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Rachal was always a right guard in his four seasons with the 49ers, but he downplayed the position switch.
“It’s the same,” he said. “I’m still a guard. It’s just footwork and different patterns. I like it. I’m naturally left-handed. It’s my first time playing left guard, but I feel pretty comfortable doing it.
After still being asked about the offense’s struggles in attacking the Packers’ Cover-2 defense six days after the game, coach Lovie Smith finally hoped to put the issue to rest.
“Let’s not make too much into the two-man (deep),” Smith said. “It’s not a new defense that’s been just discovered or anything like that. That team up north beat us because they executed better in a lot of different areas, no more than that.”
Running back Matt Forte (sprained ankle) and defensive end Julius Peppers (foot) did not practice Wednesday, although Peppers is expected back today. Forte is not expected to play Sunday.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.