Bears general manager Ryan Pace appeared on the WBBM 780 AM and 105.9 FM pre-game show in advance of Sunday's road game against the Buccaneers. Here's a transcript of that interview:
On what the loss to the Falcons taught you about the team:
"We're resilient and there are some positives to take from the game no doubt. But at the end of the day all these games in the NFL are going to be close. They're usually going to come down to those final moments and we've got to figure out ways to close out those games and I think we will."
On his interactions with the injured Kevin White:
"Just talking to him and his family, first off you just care about him as a person and I feel bad for him. But Kevin cares deeply about our organization and his teammates. I think he goes through the emotions; he feels like he let them down. But here's the thing: these things are recoverable. It's really out of his control. And my interactions with him have just been letting him know that we support him and that we're here for him."
On Tarik Cohen's breakout performance against the Falcons:
"Really the whole evaluation, the whole offseason, training camp, this is what we've envisioned. So I wouldn't say physically he's surprised us. What's good though is just the daily energy that he brings and his intelligence. We move him all over the field, his work ethic., his passion, he embodies all the traits that we want. He's probably our hardest practice player. It's just good to have him on our side of the ball."
On Nick Kwiatkoski stepping in for the injured Jerrell Freeman:
"Kwiatkoski played a lot last year. That's going to benefit him. He had a healthy preseason and training camp. We really feel when we came into training camp when you looked at those inside backers, we really felt like we had three starters because Kwiatkoski is a starting level player. And I think he'll take this opportunity and flourish with it."
On Mike Glennon facing his former team:
"I'm sure it's a big game for him, no different than any one of us going back to a place we've been for a long time. I know that Mike's focused on playing well and focused on us getting a win really despite who the opponent is."
On the Bears having the sixth oldest opening day roster:
"I think that's misleading. There are a couple of guys on the team that probably spike that. But for the most part and we could go through all the guys but we feel really good about our young core, our young nucleus. We've got a lot of young impactful starters that are foundation players for us."
On having veteran leaders at most positions:
"That's calculated when we're talking about guys, like Quintin Demps. And guys of that nature and Zach Miller and Josh Sitton. Those guys are here for a reason. Those are good players who are also good leaders who have a lot of experience that we can lean on and that's valuable."
On the Buccaneers:
"[General manager] Jason Licht's done a good job. Obviously it starts with their quarterback [in Jameis Winston]. They've got a really good quarterback. They've got two dangerous receivers in [Mike] Evans and [DeSean] Jackson. They added one of the top tight ends in the draft [in O.J. Howard] and then defensively they're fast, kind of like last week with the Falcons. Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander are extremely fast inside linebackers and Gerald McCoy on the defensive line is very disruptive, so it's a well-balanced team led by a really good quarterback."
On rookie tight end O.J. Howard:
"He was one of the top tight ends in the draft, that's for sure. What stands out with him is just how well rounded he is. He's effective as a run blocker, he's a good receiver, he's got really good speed so he's a threat down the seam. I thik he ran a 4.51 in the 40 so he's a dangerous player. He's a good young player and a good component to their offense."