Bears general manager Ryan Pace spoke to play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM prior to Sunday's game against the Lions. The following is a transcript of that interview.
On win over Bills:
"Effort and intensity really jumped out in that game. We were locked in specifically in our defense. The turnovers that we forced, those were all a result of playing hard, a lot of effort, a lot of intensity. Special teams was solid. A little hard to get in a rhythm on offense. Only 46 offensive plays, but final results, 41-9. We'll take that."
On Jordan Howard running over Bills safety Jordan Poyer for a touchdown on Sunday:
"It was good to see that. You know that's the kind of back he is. A physical back and a good finish."
On where Bears are after eight games:
"At the halfway point right now, and I think we're getting healthy at a good time. That's a positive. There's just a lot of urgency and focus in our building , and it stems from our head coach, and looking forward to this second half of this season."
On what he's looking forward to in second half of season:
"I think just continued improvement throughout our roster. We're a young team with a new coaching staff. And I think, you know Matt [Nagy] says it all the time, 'Play with confidence and finish.' And I think those are key things, key traits as we enter the second half."
On identity of team:
"It is still forming. It is still evolving. We're a high-character team, we're a well-coached team, but we're a young team, and I think it's just gelling as we go forward."
On receiver Allen Robinson II and linebacker Khalil Mack returning from injury:
"Our trainers, our strength coaches have done an unbelievable job, so we've got some guys coming back at the right time. The silver lining when some of these guys miss is you develop some back end of your roster. I think a lot of things guys got to play. That's going to serve us as we go forward. But those are two of our leaders when you talk about Allen and Khalil, and getting those guys back at the right time is pivotal for us."
On safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Roquan Smith's defensive play:
"You know what we love about those guys? There's a common trait, and to me it's instincts, and they're not sitting around waiting for somebody else to make the play. They're playing with aggressiveness. They're playing with confidence. To me that's infectious throughout our defense, and those guys are playmakers and the more of that we have the better we're going to be."
On Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman:
"He is playing at a high level right now, and I do think he can go behind the scenes a little bit just because of the nature of his position. But he played outstanding versus Buffalo, he's playing low, he's playing the run strong, he's playing stout, he's splitting double teams. He's doing a lot of that dirty work inside that you need from that position at a high level."
"This is an experienced team, especially at the quarterback position, we know how dangerous [quarterback Matthew Stafford] can be. There's continuity on offense. Keeping Jim Bob Cooter as the offensive coordinator, he does a great job. They've got a running back that's playing at a high level. And then on defense, they're a stout defense. Two big stout defensive tackles, a downhill inside linebacker. I think they're sixth in the league in sacks, so you can feel [Lions coach Matt Patricia's] influence on the defense, and we're going to have our hands full."
On Lions running back Kerryon Johnson:
"Second-round pick. He's a complete three-down back when you look at him. He played at a high level at Auburn. You look at right now, he's leading the league in rushing average, so I think you see it statistically. He runs hard, he runs physical, so he's a guy you really need to corral. We really need to rally to the ball and tackle well this game."