Defense vows to play better

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The Bears defense is ranked 31st in the NFL through three preseason games, giving up 397.7 yards per game, but Lovie Smith and the defense promise that things will change.

“When you talk about our defense, we would like for you to talk about how hard we play, how physical we are,” Smith said. “That wasn’t the case the last game we played. But we are that. We just didn’t do that that game. We’ll get it back and we won’t be in that situation again.”

Defensive end Alex Brown sees improvement on the horizon.

“We know what we need to correct, and we’ll do it,” Brown said. “Come the Indy game, you won’t see that defense, I’ll tell you.”

We can’t expect to see that change in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Browns. Even though the defense could use a “tuneup” before its regular season opener against the Colts, the Bears just can’t risk losing a key member of its defense before the real campaign begins. The team is well aware of injuries to veterans Osi Umenyiora of the Giants — who is out for the season — and the Redskins’ Jason Taylor.

“Let’s get to Indy, that’s the goal,” Brown said. “You don’t want any players to get hurt, especially not your big-time players. You don’t want it to happen.”

In last year’s preseason finale — also against the Browns — the Bears’ starters played for one series. You can expect the same to happen this go-around, leaving Bears fans in suspense about whether or not the defense can play up to its own expectations.

“We know we’ll be fine,” Brown said. “We haven’t played like that in a long time. When the season comes, I believe we’ll play better. I’m not worried about it.”

Added Lance Briggs: “I’m always concerned if we’re not performing the way we’re supposed to be. But I’m confident that we’re capable of doing it, of being a dominant defense, and we will be.”

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