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Pace talks Bears before Packers game


General manager Ryan Pace spoke with Jeff Joniak Sunday on the Bears pregame radio show on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM. The following is a transcript of Pace's comments:

On Bears coaches making adjustments during the bye week:

"The bye came at a good time. It really allowed us to get healthy and kind of reassess what we can do both from a personnel standpoint and from a schematic standpoint. We're optimistic some of these adjustments are going to have a positive effect on this stretch run."

On reviewing the roster after the Bears' first 10 games:

"There are areas of our team where we've played well, and you recognize that. And there are areas we know we need to be a lot better in. The bye week is about having those honest discussions as a staff and also with our players on what we can do to improve in certain areas. We're looking forward to seeing how these guys respond coming out of the bye week and seeing how we perform tonight."

On whether there are more answers than questions in terms of improving:

"Yes, and that's our task. It's on us to find solutions, and this past week that's what this entire process has been about."

On expectations for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in his first start since Week 3 against the Falcons:

"Obviously, he has experience in the offense, and he's feeling healthy and he's ready to go. I think we're all just looking forward to our offense coming out and playing well, playing a well-rounded game against a really good opponent on the road."

On whether this is the biggest moment of Trubisky's career and could thus change his trajectory:

"First off, I just respect the way he handled the process, and when we look at him right now, it's just an intense focus—as it should be—and on this game versus Green Bay. To me, he just feels locked in and ready to go and doing whatever it takes for us to get a win. That's all that matters."

On what Pace is hoping to see from the offense over the final six games:

"I'm just optimistic with some of the personnel changes we've made, some of the tweaks we've made, that it equates to production and ultimately points. That's what matters and that's what we hope to see."

On the defense's performance this season:

"They've played well in a lot of areas, and you feel their impact every game in different ways. I think one of the things recently has been the takeaways. It's been so critical to our success and it will be going forward. I'm just really proud with our defense [of] the intensity they play with, the togetherness they play with, and then the passion they play with. I think it's evident in every game."

On how intensified NFL COVID-19 protocols that start Monday will affect the Bears:

"There are some things we're required to do just in regard to decreasing the number of staff members we can have at Halas, reducing the number of players on the road; we have to bring that down to 62. But to be honest, we've been in these intense protocols for most of the season, so we're kind of used to operating this way. We'll continue to take it very seriously as we have and just adapt and adjust as the league gives us new information and new guidelines as we go along. I respect the way the league has handled it and I respect as a club the way we've adapted to the situation at hand."

On concerns about complications in draft planning for 2021 with so many COVID-related unknowns:

"Every team is dealing with the same circumstances. The immediate challenge for us is just ensuring that our scouts are gathering all the pertinent information they can on prospects all over the country. Without being able to go into the facilities and interact with the coaches and interact with the staff members on campus, that obviously presents some challenges. I think we're able to lean on the deep relationships that we've developed at a lot of these schools and collect information in other safe, responsible ways. That's our challenge."

On the importance of Sunday night's game against the Packers:

"Obviously, it's a big rivalry, and beyond that, it's a really important division game. We're 1-1 in our division, we're coming off our bye. If we want to get to where we want to be, we have to perform well in our division. We know that, and it doesn't get any tougher than on the road against this team."

On whether he sees anything different in how Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been playing:

"In his second year with [coach] Matt LaFleur, you can obviously feel a comfort level that's obvious. He's taking care of the football. He has that balance of playing really aggressive but not making mistakes. I think it's evident when you look at this point in the season [and] he has 29 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Obviously, very impressive. Statistically, he's at the tops in almost every category and he's definitely having an MVP-type of season."

On Packers guard Elgton Jenkins:

"Second-year player, he was a second-round pick. When you hear his name, and you knew it kind of coming out, is just how versatile he is. He's played every spot on the offensive line. He really excels at guard and center. He's mainly played left guard this season, but filled in last week at center and did a really good job. He's really steady and solid in pass pro. He's got really good lateral quickness to reach and cut off in the run game. He's just a good young player with impressive versatility."