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Smith says no messages but maybe changes
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff

Bears coach Lovie Smith looks up at the scoreboard in the first half of Sunday's game. The Bengals led 31-3 at halftime.


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Published: 10/27/2009 12:01 AM

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Coach Lovie Smith said he wouldn't use personnel changes as a way to send a message to his reeling team, which has dropped to 3-3 after back-to-back losses.

But he also didn't rule out lineup changes.

"I don't think you try to send a message," Smith said. "You look to see what gives you the best chance to win this week.

"We consider personnel changes each week, we look at our scheme each week, we look at everything that we did this past game. We'll do that again this week, but what we did last week didn't work, so of course we need to change some things up."

Asked specifically about the underachieving offensive line, Smith wouldn't single that group out.

"We look at all areas, everybody who played, every position," he said. "You have to evaluate and continue to look at it and see if there's a better option, but there were a lot of basic things we did wrong. We're a 3-3 team, (so) it's not like we're going to throw away everything we've done.

"We didn't play well that game; we didn't show up that game. You can't look at it any further than that. We have good football players.

"We've seen all of our players who played (Sunday) play at a high level."

On the run: Defensive tackle Anthony Adams denied that Sunday's blowout loss would erode the team's confidence.

"We've still got a lot of football left," he said. "We've still got 10 games left and we can make a run or run away. I think we're going to make a run."

Adams said a sound thrashing could be just what the Bears needed, and they got it, especially on defense, where they allowed the Cincinnati Bengals to score on their first seven possessions.

"Sometimes you need a little bit of humble pie," he said. "We definitely got fed that."

Friendly fire: Defensive tackle Marcus Harrison started in place of Tommie Harris a week after starting for Anthony Adams at nose tackle.

Harrison got his most extensive playing time of the season and was credited with a season-high 6 tackles, which accounted for most of his soreness Monday.

"It was really two plays that did me in," Harrison said. "The play when I hit Ced (Benson) in the backfield, and then (at first), I thought it was Lance who hit me, but it was actually Nick Roach.

"I mean, those guys are flying around, those linebackers. He accidentally missed the guy and he hit me, and it felt like I should have been in a car wreck."

Tweaking the lineup: Backup cornerback Nate Vasher, whose playing time had shrunk to almost nothing, got seven snaps in place of Kevin Payne at free safety in nickel situations Sunday.

"We're just trying to find ways to get some of our players that we think can play on the football field," coach Lovie Smith said. "We would have liked to have gotten him a few more in passing situations, and we'll probably keep that going."