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Pace talks Bears prior to Lions 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 disappointing Packers loss:

"That's not who we are. What I like is our guys have owned it, staff and players alike, and it just comes down to how we respond today versus the Lions."

On still believing in Bears team and staff:

"We have the right locker room to fight our way through this, and I'm optimistic we can come out and go 1-0 today and attack this game like we need to. That's all we can control and that's what we'll do."

On the challenge of blocking out noise about the future:

"I love this town. I love this city. I love our fan base. It's one of the many reasons why this is so hard for all of us when we go through this, a losing streak. We started off 5-1. We've lost five in a row and it doesn't sit well with any one of us. But it's all about how we respond, and we can decide how we want these next five weeks to go. That's on us."

On coach Matt Nagy having earned enough equity with players to walk a fine line between challenging them without alienating them:

"He commands our best and we all know last Sunday wasn't that. It doesn't sit well with any of us, and it's about finding answers and solving problems. This happens in our league. Teams go through adversity. It happens in sports. All we can control is how we respond."

On Nagy being a fiery leader:

"He's very passionate, which is good. I love that about him. And I think good leaders not only know what to say, but they know when to say it, and they have a feel for the team. Within our building, a strength of his is constant communication, honest dialogue with all of our players. Sometimes it's not in a group setting. Sometimes it's a lot of individual conversations, which I know he's done a lot of lately. And I think that all bodes well."

On quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's performance versus Packers:

"I think there were some positives and there were some areas we want to be better in. We all know that; he knows that. One of the negatives of that game was that we only had about 15 offensive plays and we were already down by so much. It kind of puts you in that hurry-up, recovery-mode very early in the process. But Mitch has practiced very well, he's very involved in the game plan and we're all looking forward to seeing that play out in this game."

On whether he's open to evaluating Trubisky's future over the final five games:

"We're constantly evaluating our entire roster. It's a long season and you've got to take the entirety of the year all in when you're evaluating any player—how they handle different situations. We're all proud of how Mitch has handled the situation and how he's responding."

On running back David Montgomery's return from injury against the Packers:

"David continues to run hard. He looks fresh to me. He looked explosive to me—not just on that one run but throughout [the game]—and I think a lot of it comes back to he practices extremely hard, and as a young player he's going to continue to do that and that's going to bode well for him as we go forward."

On trying to keep the reconfigured offensive line together for the remainder of the season:

"For sure, I think that that continuity will be important. As we came out of the bye, that was one of the adjustments we were excited about, and I think despite the loss, we all like the direction that that offensive line group is heading."

On his expectations for defensive tackle Akiem Hicks:

"With Akiem, there's no doubt the impact he has when he's out there. He's worked hard to get himself healthy, and we're looking forward to seeing him play at a high level today."

On how he's measured outside linebacker Robert Quinn's performance:

"Robert is an accomplished and unselfish player. I think that shows up in a lot of ways. He continues to put in the work. It doesn't always show up in the stats, but there's quarterback pressures, there's sacks by his teammates generated by his effort. All of us are confident in his impact as we go forward. He's a very professional player and he knows what it takes."

On the possibility of the Lions playing with a high energy level in Darrell Bevell's first game as interim head coach:

"[I have] a lot of respect for coach Bevell. It's a division game. The Lions know us well; we know them well. Historically, these have always been very close games. They've got a lot of talent on their roster, so we'll have to be at our best today."

On Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift, a second-round pick from Georgia:

"This is a complete three-down back. He's really athletic, he's got dangerous breakaway speed. You feel that speed on a lot of these outside runs where he can get to the corner in a hurry. He's a threat for them in the pass game because he's got really good route quickness, and if they get him in space, he's extremely elusive, just a good all-around player. I feel like with all the Georgia guys on our team, I've been hearing about him for a long time. We've talked about him a lot. But he's a really good piece on an already talented offense."