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Pace talks Bears before Lions game


Bears general manager Ryan Pace discussed several key topics Thursday morning on the WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM pregame show.

On what last Sunday's win over the Vikings meant:
"That obviously was a tough opponent and a great environment in front of our home fans, and we're going to need more of that as we go along the way. But we've got a quick turnaround this week. We've got a big game today against a talented team on the road, and we'll need to bring it."

On what a maturing defense has allowed coordinator Vic Fangio to do:
"There's just a lot of experience and continuity on that side of the ball within Vic's scheme, and when you have that guys can play fast, guys can play with their instincts, and you see the results from that."

On Chase Daniel starting in place of the injured Mitchell Trubisky:
"It's important to have that position right. When you look at a guy like Chase, with his experience and his knowledge specifically within this offense, it's very strong. Chase has been around a lot of good quarterback play himself, and everyone in the building, everyone on the roster, is very confident in his ability."

On how it helps to have so many leads in games:
"When we get leads like that, it's advantageous for the defense. We feel good about our pass rushers and the talent we have in that area, so when we get leads those guys can pin their ears back and do what they do best."

On whether this is the type of team he envisioned:
"It's a group effort by a lot of people and I've said it before, but first off we're really fortunate to have Matt [Nagy] as our head coach. I think when you look at our roster in general from a scouting perspective, I think of guys like Josh Lucas, Champ Kelly and Mark Sadowski. They lead a group of personnel men that have done a good job assembling this team. We're never going to be 100 percent, and it takes times and it can be difficult sometimes, but I think right now you see what happens when you're able to add talent, but more importantly add the right kind of character and makeup."

On how big of a role head trainer Andre Tucker and sports science coordinator Jenn Gibson play during a short week:
"When I think about that group, our sports performance team, it's Jason Loscalzo, too, our strength coach, Andre and Jen. When they're clicking, it's a competitive advantage for us. All three of them work close together and there's no walls, no egos, it's just what's best for the players. They've really assembled a good team around them. It's really benefitted our players and it's been critical for this preparation."

On defensive tackle Akiem Hicks' performance against Vikings:
"I've known Akiem for a long time and that might be the best I've ever seen him play. It's a credit to him and all the hard work he's put in. It's a credit to Vic and [defensive line coach] Jay Rodgers, too, and the preparation. That was a special game for him. He can dominate when he's playing at that level."

On Lions cornerback Darius Slay:
"That's a high-end corner and a big asset for them to have him back [from an injury]. He's a good athlete. He's got very good speed. He can recover when he's out of position, and the trait that stood out even back to college is his ball skills. He stays very calm and poised when the ball's in the air and he can make a play. He's dangerous to throw at and we've got to be mindful of that."