Bears general manager Ryan Pace appeared on the WBBM 780 AM and 105.9 FM pre-game show in advance of Thursday night's game against the Packers in Green Bay. Here's a transcript of that interview:
On beating the Steelers in overtime last Sunday:
"It was a team win. It was a hard-fought win against a very good team. We fought through some adversity; a lot of ups and downs in that game and we found a way to finish."
On running back Jordan Howard's performance:
"He played physical. He breaks a lot of tackles. He's got really good contact balance and he ran hard. He was fighting through that shoulder injury. We were proud of the intensity and the toughness he played with."
On the 1-2 punch of Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen:
"I think those two balance each other out pretty well. Week-to-week our game plan can kind of change and adapt on what we're going to do. But we're fortunate to have two good backs that complement each other. A lot of credit goes to [offensive coordinator] Dowell [Loggains] and the offensive coaches for putting together a sound game plan, which we definitely had against Pittsburgh. It was good to see. There's no denying a recipe for success is running the ball and stopping the run and we're doing that right now. I think we're top 10 in rushing offense and top 10 in rushing defense and that's a good recipe for success."
On the offensive line's performance:
"I'm proud of that whole group, proud of our o-line. They played physical and aggressive and that's really their mindset. Jeremiah Washburn, the offensive line coach, has got them going in that direction and I think that will continue. The tight ends blocked well, the receivers blocked well, and I think that paid dividends late in the game."
On depth at cornerback with Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper Sr., Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan:
"The secondary is an area we addressed in the offseason and so far they've all played well. Our coaches are doing a really good job of finding out what those guys do best and then putting them in positions to maximize their skill sets and they're doing it. We feel we have four corners that are all solid players and they're all contributing in a positive way."
On losing a third defensive starter to injury in safety Quintin Demps:
"Every NFL team is dealing with this. It's just the league that we're in. This is where your depth is tested. Fortunately, safety is a position where we really like our depth. The hard part with Quintin is the leadership that he brings and the person that he brings. But we're hopeful that he'll come back at some point and we'll persevere until he gets back."
On what a win over the Packers would mean:
"Obviously it's a big rivalry. It's critical and it's important to our franchise. It's a critical division game. We're trying to maintain some momentum and some consistency as we go forward. We need to start stringing together successful performances and it starts tonight."
On Bears players locking arms during the national anthem:
"I was really proud of our whole building. I was really proud of our players, proud of how we handled that with a unified front. It was good to see. So when you ask me that question my reaction is that I'm really proud to be part of this franchise and the way we handled that."
On Packers rookie cornerback Kevin King:
"What jumps out with him is just the combination of length, athletic ability and toughness. He's got really good ball skills, just a lot of good physical traits that lead you to believe there's a lot of upside to that player going forward."