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McCaskey talks free agency, Cutler

Bears chairman George H. McCaskey discussed several topics concerning the team with reporters earlier this week at the NFL owners meetings.

On the impact that general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox have had on the Bears since their arrival in January 2015:

"They've energized the building. They've surrounded themselves with positive and capable people, and now we've just got to keep moving forward. We've got the structure in place. We need to add players, guys that can make a difference in the fourth quarter."


Bears chairman George H. McCaskey discussed several topics concerning the team with reporters earlier this week at the NFL owners meetings.

On the energy that Pace and Fox have brought to Halas Hall:

"Energy is a good word. I don't know how to quite put a finger on it, but there's just a sense in the building of positive energy. It comes both from John, who's a force of nature, but as much so or more so from Ryan."

On how Pace approached free agency:

"We had some needs and he got what we hope are several starters out of it, and I think he took a good, measured approached, and we'll see if it bears fruit."

On whether a measured approach is good:

"We know that the foundation of our team has to be [built] through the draft, but if you see the right person in free agency, you go get him."

On the NFL Draft being held in Chicago last year and returning to the city this year:

"It was a great event. Chicago really knocked it out of the park as far as the Bears are concerned. It was a great host, very welcoming environment. We had fans in from all over the country, and I think that's one big advantage that Chicago has is that it's within driving distance of so many NFL cities. We got lucky with the weather, had three days of great weather. There seemed to be kind of a communal festival spirit to the whole thing, and my understanding is that the NFL told Chicago in 2016, 'We want it bigger and we want it better,' and I think Chicago is going to do it."

On quarterback Jay Cutler's 2015 season:

"I've said for a long time I'm a big fan of Jay on and off the field. I don't think he gets enough credit for everything that he does off the field. He established himself in 2015 again as a leader of our team, had a great year statistically and really solid play, cut down the turnovers, and we're looking forward to even more from him in 2016."

On the ESPN "30-for-30" documentary on the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears:

"I was very impressed. It was a very compelling story. I thought it was well told. I was especially impressed with the guys that they interviewed that acted pretty much as the spokesmen for the team: [Mike] Singletary, [Dan] Hampton, [Gary] Fencik, [Steve] McMichael, [Jim] McMahon. When McMichael was playing, he would say the outrageous thing and now he's almost like an elder statesman; he's eloquent, he's verbose, he's insightful. I thought it was a very compelling story. I loved to hear about the letter that the defensive players wrote to George Halas about Buddy Ryan and I thought it was especially touching Buddy's letter back to the guys."

On how his mother, Virginia McCaskey, is treated at the owners meetings:

"I would say with reverence and respect. She doesn't sit in the meeting rooms, but she's present. She's around. I understand that in the family program she was acknowledged by Jane Goodell for her contributions to the league over the years and got a nice reception from the families. It's fun to watch people approaching her and expressing their appreciation to her for what she's done for the league."

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