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 weekend's comeback win over the Seahawks:
"There's a good feel from our team coming off that Seattle win. I think it says a lot about our guys and the circumstances, on the road in that environment. To come through in those clutch moments, it was just really good to see."
On numerous changes at the quarterback position impacting the offense:
"Unfortunately, we've had injuries at the quarterback position. There's obviously differences in some of the things we do on offense when those injuries occur. But I do think it's a credit to each one of them to be ready, to be prepared when the moment comes up. I think it's a credit to Flip (John DeFilippo) as their position coach to have those guys ready to go. They've each stepped up at different moments and it's been definitely good to see."
On veteran quarterback Andy Dalton being a great teammate:
"You heard so many positive things about him as a person, prior to him coming to our building, as you do the research. Now being with him a full season, you just can't say enough good things about Andy Dalton. And through the highs and the lows, through the injuries and the opportunities, he's been a great teammate. He's been a positive influence on our whole building, and I'm happy he's here."
On whether Justin Fields not being able to play two straight games due to an ankle injury is a missed opportunity for the rookie:
"I think the play-time and that experience is obviously really important. But the most important thing is that he's healthy. He got good reps in practice this week and I think it's heading in a positive direction."
On Bears players vowing to finish the season strong:
"I think that speaks to a lot of their character. Let's be honest, you see different teams handle these situations differently. I think the fact that our guys have taken on that approach, it doesn't surprise me. I think you saw it in that final drive last week. This is how they play. You watch [Darnell] Mooney's determination on that first catch of the drive. You watch David [Montgomery's] fight and grit after every catch. Jimmy [Graham's] catch. Damiere Byrd finishing the play on the throw from Nick. I think it says a lot about our guys right now and how they're competing in these circumstances."
On Montgomery being utilized more as a receiver out of the backfield than he had been earlier in the season:
"One of the things that we loved about him coming out of Iowa State is how well-rounded he is. I think this speaks to that. You watch David as a runner, as a receiver, in pass protection, he's a true three-down back and you're seeing all that pay off right now, and we're fortunate to have him."
On seeing Mooney's growth from Year 1 to Year 2:
"For sure, and I think it's going to continue to happen. Obviously, he's talented, but it's more about how he approaches his craft. When no one's watching—I talk about this a lot—he's one of the hardest workers on our team, and you love to see that pay off. The way that he grinds every single day, it's awesome. And I think it sets a good example for our younger guys when they come into our program, to see a guy like that having success with that type of work ethic."
On Robert Quinn needing one sack to break the Bears' single-season sack record:
"The consistency that he's played with is what's got him here, and, again, the work he puts in, too; he does all the little things. The little things that veteran players have to do to make sure their body stays right, Robert does that. He's in special company that you're talking about. I think he deserves to be in that company. It's just been good to see this season play out for him."
On what the defense could have looked like with a healthy Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks all season:
"That was definitely the vision going into it. But it's part of our game. You can't control it. So, then it's just what you can do to adapt and change along the way as those circumstances play out."
On what he wants to see against the Giants:
"I feel like the last couple weeks the physicality, the energy, the urgency, that's all been there. But it's really about doing that plus playing smart, efficient football and not beating ourselves, whether it's the penalties, the turnovers, etc. It's just playing a clean game in these conditions. That's going to be really important."
On Giants safety Xavier McKinney:
"Right now, he's playing well. Five interceptions in the league is near the top at his position. He's well-rounded. He's got ball skills, obviously, with those five picks. But he's physical, too. He'll come down and hit you. He'll play with toughness. It's impressive with him coming off that foot injury from early in 2020 to finish out last season and play well this season. He's clearly one of the better players on their defense and finds his way to that football."