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Pace talks Trubisky, Packers pregame


General manager Ryan Pace spoke with Jeff Joniak Sunday morning on the Bears pregame radio show on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM. The following is a transcript of that conversation.

On the Bears' 31-24 victory over the Cowboys:
"It was a good overall team win and I think just well-balanced on offense. The defense really settled down after that first drive. Only four penalties in the game, so an error-free game. It was good to see us all put it together as a group."

On quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's recent resurgence, especially making plays with his legs:
"I think you see him throwing with a lot of confidence. He's using his legs as a weapon. He's distributing the ball to all the weapons around him. You've got to give credit to the offensive line, too, them giving him the time to do all those things."

On Trubisky rebounding to play well after throwing an interception in each of the last two games:
"What it tells us is that it just shows growth, growth in that position. You put adversity behind you and you respond, and that's what he's done in those moments."

On receiver Anthony Miller's recent emergence:
"We all see the talent; the talent is obvious with him. I think it's just an example of a player getting comfortable in the offense and now he's able to showcase that talent. You see that shining through in recent weeks."

On backups performing well in place of injured starters, especially at linebacker:
"I think it's worth mentioning a couple names: Cornelius Lucas, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Kevin Toliver last week and the tight end position as a whole, those guys all stepping up, and it's important. Those guys are professionals, so they come ready to go and our coaches do a good job getting them ready to play."

On Pierre-Louis' ability to rush the passer:
"When you look at KPL, just tremendous twitch and athleticism from him, especially as an inside linebacker. So wherever you put him—if it's inside linebacker, if it's coming off the edge—those traits are going to show up, and I just love how fast he plays and how violent he plays."

On inside linebacker Roquan Smith suffering a season-ending chest injury when he was playing his best football of the year:
"He's a huge part of this team, the person and the player he is. He was playing at a really high level at the time of his injury. This is something that he can fully recover from, we know that. Right now he's still very involved with the team, in all the meetings, at practice, he'll travel with us. He means that much to our team. This is something that he'll recover from and I think come back better than ever and pick up where he left off."

On the return of defensive tackle Akiem Hicks against the Packers providing a boost:
"There's no doubt. You look at Akiem, he's one of the leaders of our team. He's a sparkplug for our team, just the way he is. He had a great week of practice. It's obviously big for us getting him back, to our defense and just the whole locker room in general."

On growth the Bears have made since their Week 1 loss to the Packers, despite some midseason struggles:
"You look at our team, we're young as a whole. [Coach] Matt [Nagy] is in his second year and I think naturally there's going to be a bit of a growth process. We're just proud of how our players and our staff handled some of those bumps in the road along the way and I think we've come out stronger from those experiences."

On people who think that Nagy is doing a better job this year than last year when he was named coach of the year:
"Anything in life, when adversity hits you, that's when your leadership shines through. Matt's handled every single moment with class, passion and confidence. It all trickles down from him. I know I say this a lot, but we're fortunate to have him as our head coach."

On Nagy always maintaining his positivity:
"What's cool about it is that's just Matt's personality. It's easy for him because that's how he operates. It's energizing to be around him because he has those traits."

On the Packers:
"[Coach] Matt LaFleur has come in and done a great job with the organization. The offense is clicking on all cylinders, obviously one of the top quarterbacks in the league [in Aaron Rodgers]. You look at what they did in the offseason, especially on defense, adding some key pieces to Mike Pettine's defense has made a big difference for them. They're 10-3, they're playing with a lot of confidence. We know the importance of this matchup, especially being up here in Lambeau."

On Packers running back Aaron Jones:
"He's just a good all-around back. He's athletic, he plays the game with a lot of toughness; that stands out. He's really instinctive; a quick, decisive runner. He breaks a lot of tackles, and another trait that he has is he's a major asset in the pass game. They're not afraid to target him deep downfield because he can run. He runs good routes and he's got good hands. So we've got our hands full with him."