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Pace talks Bears before Vikings 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 the Bears snapping a six-game losing streak last Sunday with a decisive 36-7 victory over the Texans:

"I think we all appreciated it just being a complete team win. To have over 400 yards on offense, hold a team to seven points on defense and then on special teams, I thought we tackled well, we forced a turnover. So it was just a good overall performance in all three phases, and we've just got to carry that momentum forward."

On safety Eddie Jackson talking about the Bears now being a complete team and whether that's something that's good to hear:

"For sure, especially from leaders like Eddie. But I think when you look at the Houston game, we've got to carry this forward. But as an offense, we were balanced. Our run game, our pass game, I thought on offense our tempo we played with was good. And then on defense to come away with seven sacks, force a safety, and the whole team, you just felt energy and urgency from the entire team, and that equated to success."

On defensive lineman Mario Edwards recently being charged with misdemeanor assault of a female in mid-October:

"As you know, it's a legal situation, so I can't really add much. But I just think as a club, we obviously take those allegations very seriously and we're just doing our due diligence to understand all the facts."

On the Bears' mindset heading into the Vikings game:

"There's a good balance right now. I think everyone understands the situation we're in. Everyone understands the urgency that's required. But it's not like we're uptight. You don't feel that. So we've practiced, we've prepared well really the past three weeks. We've just got to believe that that preparation and that type of focus that really starts with Matt [Nagy], that that translates into game day."

On quarterback Mitchell Trubisky providing input to the coaches on terms of game-planning:

"One of the strengths we have in our building is collaboration, and that's amongst the staff, but it's also with the players and their input and with Matt and Bill Lazor and Dave Ragone, Flip (John DeFilippo). They all played the quarterback position, and I think they all have a deep appreciation and respect for how critical that collaboration is with the quarterbacks, so I really look at it as a strength, especially as we head into this stretch."

On why it took so long to arrive at some of these conclusions on personnel and how to get the most out of Trubisky:

"I think sometimes, to be honest, things have to naturally develop, and players improve and change as they go through experiences. We as staff improve and change as we go through experiences. That's just life, and I think every season has its ebbs and flows that are associated with each year and it's just about adjusting within the season. And I think a lot of this is an example of that."

On the defense continuing to pressure the quarterback like it did against the Texans:

"Affecting the quarterback is obviously a big goal for us in every game, and we've invested a lot defensively to make that a strength for our team. What I liked about last week was the variety and ways that it happened. For us to get seven sacks in that game, it comes from our D-linemen, it comes from our outside linebackers, it comes from our inside linebackers, and I just think it shows talented players making plays and the defensive coaches putting them in good positions to make those plays."

On young defensive backs Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor:

"We drafted those guys for a reason. Duke, when you look at last week, I thought he played with a lot of confidence. He's natural in the nickel spot. He played physical. And when you look at Kindle, he's been playing well on special teams, he's been standing out in practice. Those guys are going to get opportunities. We have a lot of confidence in them and they'll grow from this experience."

On running back David Montgomery and receiver Allen Robinson II leading an offensive resurgence:

"I think both those guys are playing really well right now. They're a big part of the recent spike with our offensive success. David is running extremely hard. He's finishing plays. That's how he practices every day. I think it translates. He's third in the league right now in broken tackles. He's making a big impact in the pass game. And A-Rob continues to make big plays, contested catches. I thought last week he really stood out with his run after catch. A big part of our offensive success are those two guys."

On Roquan Smith producing splash plays:

"He's playing at an All-Pro level. It just shows up in so many different ways; versus the run, versus the pass. Roquan plays with such great passion and high level football IQ. I think it started with how good of shape he came to training camp in. He came into training camp in great shape and I think he's been flying around since that moment."

On Vikings tight end Irv Smith:

"We've got a lot of respect for him, a second-round pick in 2019. He's dangerous in the pass game because he's got speed, he's got route quickness. He's battled some injuries this season, but when he's healthy he's a big component of their offense and someone we definitely have to account for."