NFC playoffs notebook

Obama at Super bowl? Maybe

President Barack Obama is promising he'll be at the Super Bowl if his beloved hometown Bears make it in.

It's not clear, though, that his off-the-cuff comment represented a firm commitment or just a lighthearted moment in a busy day.

Obama was asked about his plans Wednesday by reporters being ushered out of his Oval Office meeting with the president of China.

Obama said laughingly: "Oh, if the Bears are in the Super Bowl, we're going."

BACKING THE COACH: Bears LB Brian Urlacher said he believes coach Lovie Smith has earned a contract extension.

"I believe he has done a great job here. He's the reason we've won," Urlacher said on ESPN Radio. "I think he's been here seven years and this is our second NFC Championship (Game), and it hasn't been that way around here in a long time. There were a few years where we were 7-9, 8-8 and that was good. People were excited about that because it meant we were getting better.

"Now if we're not in the playoffs or the NFC championship, people are disappointed, and that's because of him. That's how he makes people believe around here, and that's what he expects out of us."

Smith, a former Bucs linebackers coach, has one year left on his four-year, $22 million deal.

TEXT-FREE: Texting buddies Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers cut off communication, at least for this week. "Cutoff was Sunday night," Cutler, the Bears QB, said of the exchanges with his Packers counterpart. "He said, 'Good game, see you in Chicago.' I said, 'All right. See you in a week.' "

INJURIES: Bears S Chris Harris sat out practice with a hip pointer but insists he will play. … Packers LB Frank Zombo (knee) didn't sound all that optimistic. "I've definitely made progress. Whether I'm 100 percent, NFC Championship Game-ready, I don't know," Zombo said.

Times wires

NFC playoffs notebook 01/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 11:32pm]

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