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Pace talks win over Giants, previews Lions

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General manager Ryan Pace spoke with Jeff Joniak Thursday morning 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 the Bears defense allowing 17 or fewer points in eight of 11 games this season:
“For the most part we’ve gotten consistent play out of the defense on that side of the ball and really it speaks to the players and the coaches and really the pride they put into that.”

On Khalil Mack’s strip sack last Sunday against the Giants sparking the defense:
“I think like anything those moments create some momentum, some confidence for us and that strip/sack was a significant point of the game for sure.”

On last Sunday’s 19-14 win over the Giants:
“I think when you look back on it the most important thing is that we won the game. We all know there are some things we need to clean up. There are some things we want to do better and hopefully that shows up today versus the Lions.”

On scoring touchdowns on the first drive of the second half in five straight games while not having success on the first possession of games:
“Matt’s always preaching for our guys to start fast and obviously we need to figure out a way to do that. You look at us coming out after halftime and I think it speaks a lot to our coaches and our players the way they adjust within the game. We just need to start off better.”

On quarterback Mitchell Trubisky saying that he was happy the Bears won but that he and the offense need to play better:
“As an offense as a whole we had some missed opportunities early on, but I think you credit our guys for not getting discouraged and kind of fighting through that. We hit some explosive plays in the pass game, which was good to see, and 19 unanswered points, and that was good.”

On Trubisky excelling when the Bears run a no-huddle, up-tempo offense:
“It’s another element to our offense. We can change up and utilize it. There are pros and cons to doing that. I just think it’s really a game-by-game kind of a situation-by-situation basis. I think Matt [Nagy] has got a good feel for when to use it and when not to use it.”

On cleaning up communication breakdowns in all three phases:
“Communication is key; our coaches and players all recognize that. Anytime there’s a breakdown with that, we absolutely can’t have it and I think Matt and his staff are on it and I’m confident they’ll get that fixed.”

On Cordarrelle Patterson being a well-rounded and impactful special-teams contributor:
“I think at first you speak to the talent, but just talking about the person and the teammate, he’s so unselfish, he’s willing to help the team in any way he can. He’s playing at an elite level on teams right now. He takes a ton of pride in playing on special teams and every time he’s on the field you feel his presence.”

On Patterson creating excitement with a Pro Bowl-caliber play to down a punt against the Giants:
“You saw the whole stadium stand up on their feet when that happened and I think it just speaks to him and the importance of those plays. It’s infectious to our whole team the way he plays, and he’ll get more and more opportunities as we go along. He’s another guy we’re lucky to have.”

On Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson:
“Rookie first-round pick, he’s got good size, he’s a strong run blocker. As a receiver, he’s instinctive, he’s savvy, he just has a knack for getting open. Another thing that stands out about this player is his run-after-catch. He’s a tough guy to bring down because he’s just so strong. We’re really got to rally to tackle him.”

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