Preparing for the season opener against the Packers, Bears coordinators spoke with the media on Monday. Here are some of the best quotes from those interviews:
Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich
On running back David Montgomery's character:
"We're very lucky of the caliber of guys that we have to work with on a daily basis, but he's got a great attitude. He's soft spoken. He's got a kind of quiet confidence about him in every way. He's also kind of closet-hilarious. He'll come off and maybe pick up Roquan Smith in a pass protection drill and kind of be like, ‘Hey, you see that?’ or something you don't really expect the first time you talk to him because he's a quiet, humble, real guy. But very excited about his future."
On tight end Adam Shaheen's progress:
"I think he's another guy that just needs confidence and belief in everything he's doing. He's obviously a unique individual just from a genetics standpoint. His physical makeup is incredible. He can do everything, and he does everything in the passing game really well. The run game, again, sometimes it's, 'I'm going against 52 (Khalil Mack) one snap then it's 94 (Leonard Floyd) the other snap,' and then maybe it's whoever, Hicksy (Akiem Hicks) or whoever he has to block, and he's learning to play with better pad level and we need to put him in better spots to do that."
On how having an inexperienced kicker affects his decision-making:
"The easy answer, I guess, is to score touchdowns, to eliminate that possibility. Eddy has done a great job, and he's our guy. A 58-yarder the other day. He's had a couple further than that. He's had a couple in windy conditions, and he'll bang it if we need it. He'll make it."
Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano
On inside linebacker Roquan Smith's presence:
"He's a phenomenal football player. I feel like that kid has been around for a long, long time. He's mature beyond his years, and he understands the game, and I think it's really slowing down for him in a short of time that he's been with his organization and played at this level. You know, everything you ask Roquan to do, physically he's able to do it, whether it's being a downhill inside linebacker, playing between the tackles. If you want to bring 'em, you can bring 'em. We know every time he blitzes, he gets a sack. So it would be pretty smart to probably bring 'em, but I don't want to give too much away. We'll probably drop him the whole time now anyway. So coverage, he's great in coverage. Again, he understands. He gets football. And he spends a tremendous amount of time. And he's a great teammate; he's a great player. All those kind of things. Again, it's going to be exciting to see him roll."
On outside linebacker Leonard Floyd as a pass rusher:
"If he just does what he's been doing every single day since we got together back in April .. always say what you do during the week or what you do at practice, good or bad, you're going to see it on Thursday, you're going to see it on Sundays, Monday night, no matter what you play. So he's done a great job. Coach Monachino has done a great job of coming in here and coaching those guys and trying to take them to the next level, take his game to the next level. So again, everything that he's done, both off the field in the classroom and then through practice, through repetition, it's going to be exciting. It's going to be fun to watch."
On safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as an addition to the team:
"He's come in, and he's been a great pro. All we ask these guys to do every single day, it doesn't matter if they were here before or they're new coming in. It's what coach Nagy's expectations were, you come in and learn your way. Every single day he's done it. He's bought in. He's coachable. He's smart. Prepares well. Practices well. He gives himself a chance to go play well on game day. Again, he's got experience, so there's things that he's done and he's seen, from a communication standpoint, technique standpoint, that he really brings a lot to the table."
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor
On kicker Eddy Pineiro's improvement over the summer:
"I think he's mentally strong. I think that his fundamentals keep getting better. And that's going to be the deal. It's going to be at all positions. When the lights are on Thursday night, it's going to be a big game obviously. I'm going to say assignment, alignment and technique will take you through and allow you to be successful. He's doing those things, and we keep tweaking things, and he's getting better and better. He's in a good state of mind right now. I think that he plays well for us. I'm excited for him. I'm excited for him. And I know there's going to be a lot of attention on it. but I will also say this – I think you have to have some patience too."
On punter Pat O'Donnell:
"Pat's been a great asset for Eddie. He's like his caddy when we get ready to kick a field goal because he knows Soldier Field and he can talk to him. Just like the other night on the field goal Eddy asked him, he said help me out a little bit with my line right here, and Pat said play it right here, play it, and he says 'ok,' and he played it. He knows, and he understands he has to listen to the veteran and then just let his God-given ability take over."