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Pace talks Bears-Lions on radio pregame show


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 evaluating last weekend's loss to the Browns:

"Obviously, we all have a bad taste in our mouth from that game. This week has been about coming together as a team like we always do and doing everything we can to come up with solutions. That's really where the energy's devoted. You look back at the game, we did a lot of good things on defense: five sacks, fourth-down stops, etc. But we all know we need to play better really in all three phases. Fortunately, it was Week 3. We have the right character in our building. We've got the right character with our players and staff to get this thing back on track."

On communicating with coach Matt Nagy to discuss what needs to happen to fix the offense:

"With Matt, every week win or lose, we sit down together and evaluate the game. It's constant communication on whatever we need to do and what's best for our football team, and we always start there. I've got a lot of confidence in Matt. I've got a lot of confidence in his staff, along with our players to address these issues from last week and get it fixed."

On whether Justin Fields experienced some necessary adjustments typically required for rookie quarterbacks last Sunday in Cleveland:

"There's some of that. With any rookie quarterback making his first start on the road against a good defense like Cleveland, that's a tough environment. I think it's compounded if you're putting yourself in third-and-long, obvious pass situations. The good thing about it is that he remained composed. He played with great physical and mental toughness throughout that entire game, which was awesome to see—not surprising, but great to see. Going forward, we need to be better around him and we will be. We also know that he'll be better from that experience."

On Fields' calm, unflappable demeanor throughout the game:

"It's one of the first things I heard after the game, as hard as that game was. Right after the game, I like to talk to the players and the coaches and the staff [about] what was going on on the sideline, and every one of them talked about his composure, his toughness and just how he handled an extreme environment like he was in. So, I think that all bodes well for the future."

On Nagy asking coaches and players for input about issues on offense:

"One of the things that I love about Matt is that he's always operated with a very collaborative and humble mindset. I think it's only natural to lean on your staff, the players executing the plays and you come up with the best collective game plan. We have a lot of experience on that offensive staff. We have a lot of experience on our offense with veteran players on that side of the ball. And I think they all have ownership in the corrections from week-to-week, and it was no different this past week."

On expectations for nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who is set to play in his first regular-season game since December 2019:

"Eddie's worked extremely hard to get back. He had a great week of practice this week. It was awesome to see him move around. He's one of the top nose tackles in the NFL, and it's a huge boost to our defense to get him back. We've missed him. You think about it, all of 2020, the first three games this year. I know he's really excited, too. It'll just be awesome to see him out there on gameday."

On the status of injured rookie offensive linemen Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom:

"Both those guys are working really hard. They continue to progress. They're both on schedule. It's a really good, combined effort with our trainers and strength coaches, along with those players being fully committed to that timeline to get them back as soon as possible. But they're both working hard and they're both on schedule."

On facing quarterback Jared Goff after his trade from the Rams:

"We've got a lot of respect for Jared Goff, a lot of respect for this Lions team, how hard those guys fight and compete. [Coach] Dan Campbell's done a great job with this team. You think about Goff, he's a talented player obviously. He went to the Super Bowl with the Rams, first overall pick. You see how quickly he's adjusted into their offense. He has valuable weapons like [D'Andre] Swift and [T.J.] Hockenson that he utilizes, and we'll need to play really good defense today."

On Lions first-round pick Penei Sewell:

"He was one of the top players in this past draft, seventh overall pick. Such a young player at 20 years old, with a really bright future ahead of him. He played some right tackle in the preseason, but he's settled in at the left tackle position now with Taylor Decker's injury. What makes [Sewell] so good is that he's got this high-end athletic skillset, but then you combine that with the demeanor to constantly finish plays, finish every single block. He's just a really well-rounded offensive tackle with a ton of upside."