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 New Orleans Saints. Here's a transcript of that interview:
On what sticks out about two-game winning streak:
"I think the first thing that jumps out is just the turnover ratio. We were plus-one against Baltimore. We were plus-three against Carolina. So that stands out. I'd also say overall good defensive play. We're playing together as a unit; the front seven, the secondary, you just feel continuity with our defense right now."
On the role winning plays in the development of young players:
"I think the best way for any of our players to develop is to grow as we win. Every one of these games is a new experience and every one of our young players can take from that experience. I reflect on last week's game. I think it was a bit of an anomaly. I think at halftime we had 15 offensive plays. They had 41 offensive plays, yet we were up 17-3. It was just difficult for us to get into an offensive rhythm last week."
On the acquisition of receiver Dontrelle Inman in a trade with the Chargers:
"I think with Dontrelle even before San Diego, he's a guy we liked coming out of the CFL when he was in Toronto. He's an experienced receiver that's had some production. We like his size, hands and quickness. He's just got to get acclimated into our offensive system and into our locker room and we'll take it from there."
On the possibility of making another trade before this week's deadline:
"Obviously we just made a trade, but I think you're always looking for ways to improve your team. This time of year there are always a lot of calls amongst teams, but that doesn't necessarily equate to action."
On the defense not allowing a touchdown in the last two games:
"The defense is playing fast right now and they're playing together. They're playing with some confidence and energy, which is good to see. And the best thing is the takeaways. Those are coming, I think our coaches have done a great job of getting them prepared so they can play fast and they can play with that energy, and you're seeing the results."
On rookie safety Eddie Jackson, who scored two defensive TDs last week:
"The instincts, the ball skills, that's what we hoped for. That's why we drafted him. Any rookie is going to go through ups and downs as he's growing and that's expected. But I think with Eddie just with his work ethic, we expect him to make steady improvement and you're seeing that."
On Akiem Hicks being a rampaging player Sunday when he faces the Saints, the team that traded him to the Patriots:
"As far as a rampaging player, I think that's how he always plays despite who our opponent is and that's one of the things we love about him. Akiem is an explosive player. He's playing with really good pad level right now, really good leverage right now and I think you're seeing that. And like all of us, we grow with experience, we continue to get better, and Akiem's doing that. And we couldn't be more proud of him."
On facing Saints quarterback Drew Brees:
"This is a big one for me. I have a ton of respect for Drew Brees and honestly it goes beyond what people see on Sunday. It's his preparation throughout the week. It's all the extra time he puts in. It's how prepared he is for the opponent. It's how he takes care of his body, the type of teammate that he is. When we're talking about a quarterback, we're always talking about the physical traits. But with this position the intangibles are highly critical and I think when we drafted Mitch [Trubisky] we talked about obviously the physical traits—he's an accurate quarterback, he's a talented thrower—but very importantly he's also someone that embodies all the intangibles we want in the position and those things stood out."
On Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara:
"In this draft we felt like there were a handful of these backs that we classify as jokers. We've seen them in New Orleans before with [Reggie] Bush and [Darren] Sproles. This draft there were a handful. Kamara was one. Tarik Cohen fit into that category. But with Kamara, he's an explosive player. He's very elusive as a runner, but then he adds this dangerous receiving element. He's just a very good route runner. He's got very good hands. So with that they can create some mismatches using him that way, so we've got to be prepared."