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GM Ryan Pace discusses key Bears issues


Bears general manager Ryan Pace spoke to play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM prior to Thursday's preseason finale against the Bills. The following is a transcript of that interview.

On Bears locker room following last Saturday's win over Chiefs:

"I think Matt [Nagy] has got a really good pulse of this team right now. You can tell these guys really enjoy playing for him. There's a lot of excitement, especially after a preseason game. Our guys fought hard and a lot of guys stepped up and played well and that was like the culmination of all of that."

On what he likes about Nagy's decision-making:

"Any of these decisions, whether you agree with them or disagree with them, what I appreciate is that they're very collaborative, they're very thought out. And when he makes a decision, he's very decisive and confident behind those decisions, and I think that's important as a leader."

On if the preseason was a success:

"I definitely would call it a success. We've had a lot of guys step up. We've got a lot of competition throughout our roster this year, more so than any time in the previous years that I have been here. And that's a good thing. We're going to have some hard cuts coming up. We're kind of going through that process right now. We're looking at all the other teams' cuts as well, but it's been a very competitive preseason."

On Roquan Smith and Aaron Lynch:

"Obviously those are important players for us, and they are trending in the right direction. I think that's the correct term for that. The practices have been ramped up more and more with them. As far as this game, it's probably unlikely, we've just got to be smart with it, and we're focused on the regular season, but the practices have been positive."

On the final 53-man roster:

"As this thing has come together, and a lot of credit to Josh Lucas, Champ Kelly, Mark Sadowski, the whole scouting department, the competition of this roster has really been improved. We feel good right now where we're at. There are a couple final decisions that I think will come down to this game tonight, that's part of the process again. But we feel good with where we're at."

On any training camp positive or negative surprises:

"I think there's always going to be a couple of positive surprises on our end. We've talked about Rashaad Coward a lot and his conversion from a defensive lineman to an offensive lineman and how quickly he's progressed at that position. And again Harry Hiestand has done a great job with that transition. So those are the positive. Right now, I'm a glass half-full guy, so not a lot of negatives on my end."