Bears general manager Ryan Pace appeared on the WBBM 780 AM and 105.9 FM pre-game show in advance of Sunday's season opener against the Falcons. Here's a transcript of that interview.
On the Bears' level of preparedness for the opener:
"I think our coaches have done a good job. At practice this week our guys seemed locked in and focused, and now it's time for real football. We're fired up about it. It doesn't get any bigger than this, the defending NFC champs, a big-time opponent. And I think our guys are ready."
On the magnitude of the start for Mike Glennon:
"It's big. And I think the good thing about Mike is that we lean on his experience. He's started in this league before. In fact, he's started against this opponent before multiple times. So he has some familiarity with the Falcons and I think he's ready to roll."
On how Mitchell Trubisky has handled being promoted to second string:
"What I like about Mitch is he's so even keeled; he doesn't get too high, he doesn't get too low. I think he just goes about his business. He's very goal-driven, so for Mitch it's just about continuing to set goals, set new goals when you accomplish them and just knock them out one-by-one."
On cornerback Kyle Fuller's resurgence:
"The good thing with Kyle, the main thing is that he's healthy and he's really been healthy all offseason, all training camp. So just stacking healthy productive practices, you've just seen him grow. He's moving very well right now. He had a good preseason, he had a good camp and he just needs to carry that momentum into today."
On rookie Eddie Jackson starting at safety:
"Coming from the program he came from (Alabama) and just the type of player he is, he's picked it up very fast. He pairs very well with Quintin Demps. But I think he's ready to roll. What excites me about him and the whole rookie class, none of them the moment seems too big. I think they all have a lot of swagger and confidence to them, which I think is really good for that rookie class."
On the Falcons rookies who excelled on defense last year:
You look at Deion Jones and all those guys, they all played well. But I think it starts with of course drafting the right players, but then beyond that your coaches taking ownership and developing those players and playing those players and going through some necessary growing pains at times and we're doing that. You can look throughout our roster offense and defense there are a lot of young emerging players that are going to play a lot. And that's going to be really good for us going forward."
On the type of player Deion Jones is:
"The first thing that jumps out is speed. He can really, really run and I remember being at the Senior Bowl two years ago sitting there with the guys and every practice he just jumped off because he's sideline-to-sideline. I think sometimes we as scouts get critical of undersized linebackers, but the way the game is changing, speed is a big, big element and Deion Jones is really athletic and he can really run and I think you're seeing that pay off for their defense."