Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith admitted Monday that there may be a preference for a divisional round foe, but no matter what opponent his team faces, Smith is not worried about the matchup.
"In the end, it really doesn't matter," Smith said Monday. "But yeah, there are teams you probably would prefer to play. But it doesn't work out like that."
The Bears have a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed, and they have the chance to face either the No. 3 seed Philadelphia Eagles; No. 4 seed Seattle Seahawks or the No. 5 seed New Orleans Saints. The Bears lost to Seattle in Chicago and beat the Eagles at home.
"For us, in the end, whoever shows up, we're excited to play them, and we should match up," Smith said. "We're a good football team.
"So this time of the year, the teams that are in the playoffs are good football teams. I think the matchups are pretty good, pretty balanced no matter who you play."
Smith said the Bears will get in a couple "training-camp-type practices" and then become NFL fans.
"To have this bye week is important to rest up a little bit as much as anything," he said. "But at the same time, it will be good to have a couple practices, training-camp-type practices, getting ready for whoever we end playing in our first playoff game.
"It is gratifying to have this week where you can sit back. We're all excited about watching others play, trying to figure out exactly who we're going to play, and just kind of be a fan of pro football this week. But at the same time, having a week to really tighten up on some of the things. Now we've gone through an entire year, we see some things we need to improve. We've been looking at it throughout the course of the year, but now that's it's all over and you can concentrate on certain things ... that's why these practices this week are so important."