Dionne Miller's 'Happenings at Halas' - October 10 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Dionne Miller's 'Happenings at Halas' - October 10

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It's not the season's mid point, but it is the eve of the bye week. No time like the present for a "State of the Team address" from GM Phil Emery. He spoke to the media for the first time since Bourbonnais and over all is pleased- the team has played well and he says they feel good about their position 5 weeks in. He was quick to dispel any rumors that he and Lovie Smith have begun contract extension talks. "Where would we find time to do that?" He did say Lovie is focused on the team, he is focused on what they need to do to get closer to a championship. Emery did praise the head coach for a 4-1 start and is glad Smith is the one who will lead the Bears. "How we come and attack through this mid-part of the season is going to be key. And thats where I've been really impressed with Coach Smith. He takes great ownership of his players...he pushes the right buttons." The question moving forward is do they earn it each and every week so far that answer has been "yes".

Emery says his job is to evaluate his players and team. When asked about the sideline behavior of his quarterback that's earned national criticism, Emery says "I'm a Jay Cutler fan. I believe in what he's doing. It's the simple things. He's 9 and 1 in his last 10, 22 and 10- those are stats that say something at a key position for our franchise."

Speaking of key, the first year GM could not give high enough praise of Brandon Marshall- both on and off the field. "He speaks of professionalism". And the way Marshall leads challenges Emery "I need to continually raise my level". I may be new, but Marshall continues to impress me in the way he carries himself on and off the field. Clearly, I'm not the only one.

He also mentioned Brian Urlacher is the reason the defense is playing so well. #54 is the key communicator to making sure everyone is where they need to be on D. And he is getting better every game- closer to game

shape- which is where the Bears will need him to be for the final push.

Emery was questioned about the depth he added and whether he'll add more. He's always looking for players who will help the team take a step towards a championship- now. But the players he's brought in have fit in

nicely- maybe better than anticipated. Which is reason to be excited just 5 weeks in.

Everything's fun when you're winning: Israel Idonije pulled a rookie prank Tuesday night when the "rush men" went to dinner. Izzy had Mastro's Steakhouse deliver a more than 38,000 dollar dinner bill to a couple of rookie's- namely Shea McClellin. Shea said there was no moment of panic, just legit concern as to having to borrow some money from a veteran to try and pay the bill. He was confused how 10 guys could run a bill up that high. Izzy said that was the more funniest part- watching them try to figure out how they were going to pay it. After about 5 minutes they let them in on the joke. Ha! I love it. Building chemistry between the Veterans and the Rookies is a big deal and will be key when they come back from the bye and don't have another off weekend until 2013.

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