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 last Sunday's victory over the Bengals:
"Good to get our first win. I think it's always best to coach and improve off a win. I know that Matt [Nagy] would say that, too. We played well on defense the majority of the game, four takeaways, you like that. Offensively, we started off well, that first scoring drive, but we've definitely got some things to clean up on offense. That's our focus going into Cleveland."
On the Bears defense swarming like hornets:
"You look at, one forced fumble and three interceptions, five quarterback sacks, nine quarterback hurries, eight PBUs. That's a lot of production on defense. We've got a lot of good coaches, a lot of good players on defense, and it's fun to watch it all come together. We know what they're capable of, they know what they're capable of, and it's encouraging to see. Being early in the season, I still think there's some things we can clean up on defense. We know that. But when they're playing like that, with that kind of energy on defense, it's infectious to the entire team, the entire organization. So we feed off that."
On veteran quarterback Andy Dalton suffering a knee injury:
"Andy's working his tail off to get back. I think he's a fast healer. He's such a professional. Not only is he a great player, but he's such a great person. Just getting to know him and his wife and his family, you feel for him as he goes through this. But he's working his tail off and he'll be back sooner than later."
On Dalton's prognosis:
"Prognosis is good. It's a week-to-week deal with Andy and fortunately for us and for him it's nothing structural. We'll just take it as it goes. Again, he's working extremely hard with [head trainer] Andre Tucker and our doctors."
On what gives him confidence from what he's seen in Justin Fields:
"You go back and you look at the evaluations in college, he's played in a lot of big-time moments. He's got that calmness and confidence to him that we've referenced a lot. He understands there are a lot of ups and downs and adversity in our game. But he knows how to stay even-keeled. You feel that. He can stay even-keeled and respond in those ebbs and flows of a game and of a season. But I also think you look at his preparation, the time he's put in ever since we drafted him. These are the moments where that pays off."
On excitement in what Nagy has planned for Fields:
"I always say this, always think this: Our coaches and good coaches work to accentuate players' strengths and that's what they do, and not just with the quarterback but all players. With Justin, it's been a collaborative effort. I see it. And I think we also understand, everyone understands, he's a young player. There's going to be twists and turns on this journey overall. They're there to support each other along the way and just get better through the process."
On veteran Nick Foles serving as the No. 2 quarterback behind Fields:
"We're fortunate to have three talented quarterbacks. I think you look around the league and if you go 1-3, that's a good group when you compare it. Obviously, with Nick's experience, that's huge, all the things that he's seen. Nick's been practicing extremely well. He's been great in that quarterback room. He's a great resource for Andy and Justin."
On having a knack for unearthing talented defensive linemen:
"It speaks to the scouts and coaches. It speaks also to the process of acquiring good players through different avenues: vet free agents, draft picks, college free agents. But then I think our coaches do a good job of developing those guys and maximizing them once they're in our building. It's a critical position, and you always want to stock up on the D-line. I think the way our league is you can't keep everyone. So you might lose a good player like a Roy Robertson-Harris. Then you draft a guy like Khyiris Tonga to replenish that. We're always mindful of it. It's acquiring the right guys through different avenues, but then our coaches developing them once they're in the building."
On Browns running back Nick Chubb:
"One of the more well-rounded backs in our league. He's got that body type and strength to handle a significant amount of carries. He's got a muscular, dense body. He runs with power. He runs with violence. And I think what makes him unique is he's got great instincts, he's got great power, but he's also got explosive burst. So if there's a crease, he's going to hit it and accelerate. And I think you take a talented back like him, you combine with Kareem Hunt, you combine it with that offensive line that has a lot of continuity, and that's what gives them one of the better and more potent rushing games in the NFL, and we've got to be ready for that."