Bears general manager Ryan Pace appeared on the WBBM 780 AM and 105.9 FM pre-game show in advance of Thursday night's preseason finale against the Browns. Here's a transcript of the interview:
On his impressions of the first-team units in last Sunday's win in Tennessee:
"The third preseason game is an important evaluation and really all three phases played well. The offense came out on a long 96-yard drive. They were efficient and productive. Special teams made some big plays. And our defense has really played well all preseason. So it was good to see all three units really come together and complement each other."
On starting quarterback Mike Glennon's performance:
"You felt his urgency. He was decisive. He distributed the ball well. I think a lot of that's a credit to [offensive coordinator] Dowell [Loggains] and [quarterbacks coach] Dave Ragone and just our preparation going into that week. The whole offense played well. I thought we ran the ball well. The offensive line was solid. And that was good to see. It's good for the whole unit's confidence as we enter the regular season."
On rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky starting the preseason finale:
"That's good for him. He's progressively gotten better throughout the preseason. I thought in the Tennessee game you were able to see him sit in the pocket and work through his progressions. He showed his pocket presence to avoid the rush and make some plays with his legs, too. Tonight as the starter it's going to be important for him to prepare as the starter, walk out there as the starter and warm up with the first-team offense. That whole simulation is important for his growth."
On the plan to develop Trubisky in preseason games:
"It's worked well. It starts with coach [John] Fox. Our coaches have done a great job just kind of assimilating him into the NFL and that room has been really good too. Glennon's been awesome, [Mark] Sanchez has been good and [Connor] Shaw has been good. It's just a really good competitive room and the coaches have handled it well and I think it's really helped Mitch's transition into the NFL."
On the defense playing well in the preseason and showing what the unit can become:
"The thing that comes to mind is that they're playing very physical, especially up front. We know that it starts up there. But Eddie Goldman, [Akiem] Hicks, we didn't have [Jonathan] Bullard last game but he's had a good preseason, [Leonard] Floyd, really I think three inside linebackers when you talk about [Jerrell] Freeman, [Nick] Kwiatkoski and we're going to have [Danny] Trevathan coming back. So that's a really good front seven that I think can be disruptive and kind of lead this defense. They've showed that this preseason. We just need to carry that momentum into the regular season."
On receiver Cameron Meredith suffering a season-ending knee injury:
"He's a stud. I was just talking to him this morning. That day that he came out here for that local workout in our indoor facility, and he just showcased his talent and then just where he's come from that local day tryout to now is really a testament to his hard work and his talent, and I know he'll take that same approach to this rehab. He'll get the surgery and then it's just a matter of setting goals and knocking them out one-by-one and he has the right personality and the right work ethic to do that."
On replacing Meredith:
"It's challenging, but guys will step up. We've got guys on this team that will step up and they know that. We've got a really good player personnel department that's evaluating the waiver wire. That'll come down this Saturday. There will be a lot of names coming across. There are trade scenarios. So it's kind of all of the above; what we have on our own roster and those other avenues and you can bet that we'll be on top of that."
On the NFL eliminating the cut down to 75 and having all cuts to 53 this Saturday:
"It's a fun time of year. We really enjoy it. We'll be here late at night. I think the waiver wire will probably come around 7 o'clock on Saturday night. We'll be here late. working throughout the night. We'll have to have our claims in by 11 central time on Sunday [morning]. But it's a fun time. Our guys do a great job challenging guys, coming into my office pounding the table for guys they like. We'll watch them and we'll go through it with our coaches and it's exciting but also a little bit different this year. We feel good about the talent on this roster. We feel good about the depth on this roster. So it's a good feeling when you don't feel like you necessarily have to go reach and acquire a bunch of guys that aren't on our team, because we feel good about a lot of the guys we have now."