"You know, I hate to get beat," Bubba said, "but in some ways this was a good loss for us. I'm kind of glad we got beat. A loss at the right time can help a team. If we had beaten Minnesota like we know we can, a lot of cats would have become complacent."
That is not Madden's worry with Smith, of whom he says, " Bubba Smith has a lot of pride. It's a driving force."
A statement Bubba made earlier in the week would confirm this. "When I reach the point where I have that inner feeling," he said, "when I know I'm right, then I can relax a little bit. But not now. Now I know I can play, but I can't handle just being an average ballplayer."
The Oakland fans may be hollering sooner than they think.