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Pace discusses team mentality, depth


Bears general manager Ryan Pace spoke to play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM prior to Sunday's game against the Dolphins. The following is a transcript of that interview.

On Bears coach Matt Nagy preaching to not get overly excited about the team's 3-1 record:
"Matt's done a really good job of talking about blinders and earmuffs to the entire organization. And the one thing we've got to remember is we're only four games into this. We're really early in the season. There's a lot of growth ahead of us still, and I think we have a mature team that's listening to that message and following Matt's lead."

On defensive maturity and leadership:
"I think that's an awesome thing to see when you see players holding each other accountable. We have that type of leadership on our team. It definitely exists on the defense, and you feel that, there's a sense of pride the way our defense is playing and I think they're taking ownership to make sure that continues."

On not getting complacent:
"We've been through a lot over the last three years here, and I think complacency, that's the last thing that needs to set. I think all of our guys are hungry, and winning feels good, and we've got to make sure that continues."

On Nagy preaching prioritizing wins and losses over statistics:
"There's so so many different ways to win games, and as you know these wins are so hard to come by. They're going to come in different ways this year. We've already seen it through the first four games and that's fine. We adapt to each situation."

On depth of roster:
"I think our coaches have done a really good job of rotating a lot of that depth. You talk about [defensive line coach] Jay Rodgers with the D-line and [outside linebackers coach] Brandon Staley with the outside linebackers, and rotating those guys in there. Our scouts have done a great job building this team up over the years, and I think we're seeing that pay off a little bit."

On wide receiver Anthony Miller:
"You know Anthony, he's a tough guy. It's one of the many reasons why we drafted him, and he kind of has that mindset, we have to hold him back in a lot of ways, and he's fired up and charged up to roll."

On running back depth:
"There's a lot of versatility on this offense. Running back room, tight end room, receiver room. And I think it's just [offensive coordinator Mark] Helfrich, Matt Nagy, and all our offensive coaches have done a great job of kind of divvying that up, and again it can change game plan to game plan based on what the defense is doing, and I really appreciate the way our coaches adapt to those different situations."

On if anything has surpassed personal expectations at this point in season:
"I think it's still so early. That's what's in my head right now. We've only played four games. It's so early. There's so much season that still has to play out, and I'm looking forward to seeing that."

On Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick:
"Versatility is the first word that comes to mind when you say his name. Studying him coming up in the draft, he played a lot of different positions for Alabama. He can do a lot of different things for the Dolphins. I would say versatility and instincts jump out with that guy, and you see people talk about all the time, 'Hey, this guy's just a really good football player.' Well that applies to Minkah Fitzpatrick, he's a really good football player because he can do so many different things."

On Drew Brees becoming the all-time leading passer in NFL history:
"That was a special moment for the whole [New Orleans Saints] organization, and I think Drew and Sean Payton, and Mickey Loomis, and that entire building, it's a very proud moment. Everything you see with Drew, everything you feel with Drew, that's who he is. He's that kind of person, that kind of guy, beyond a football player, and I think that's what makes it so special. His passion for the game and his love for that organization, that city, it was neat to see."