Bears' home field worries Greg Jennings
Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings became the latest member of the rip-Soldier-Field-turf club Monday, when discussing concerns for his team's matchup against the Bears in the NFC Championship Game.
Jennings called the grass at Soldier Field "probably the worst in the league," but added that the surface can "only play so much into the game if you allow it to."
Jennings watched the Bears' 35-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round on television, and noticed players slipping "on a couple routes," but added "that's going to happen regardless of what field you're on if you're in that type of climate."
Given the familiarity the Packers have with the Bears, they've come to expect Soldier Field to turn into a somewhat of a quagmire once the winter hits.
"The field, you never know what you're going to get. It kind of depends," Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said. "The weather will obviously have a little bit of an impact on it. I think most of the guys on this team will figure out that both teams are playing on the same field. It's not like anyone is going to have an advantage."
Packers center Scott Wells doesn't expect footing issues to give either team an advantage.
"I have no concerns," Wells said. "It's equal field. It's the same for them as it is for us."
Criticized seemingly exhaustively by Chicago's opponents and the team itself, the turf at Soldier Field remains a hot-button issue. General manager Jerry Angelo said the team is still conducting studies to determine whether to switch to a synthetic surface. But the club says the most important consideration in making a switch is the safety of the players.
Bears tight end Greg Olsen took a sensible approach Monday when asked about the conditions potentially being an issue in the NFC title game.
"It's the middle of January in Chicago. We've had a lot of snow. It's been cold," Olsen said. "You don't have to be a scientist to know that grass doesn't grow in these conditions. It is what it is."
Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
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