General manager Ryan Poles 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 Poles' comments:
Let's open up with thoughts on the loss to the Lions, a really good football game. But what is your takeaway?
Yeah, obviously, disappointed we couldn't finish that game. Up through the first three quarters, I thought we did some really good things. We saw some explosive play on offense and some good defense as well. But we've got to get better. We've got to be able to finish games, not have mistakes, not get penalties and play clean ball when it matters the most, which is down the stretch. But we are getting better, so it's good to see.
What are we witnessing right now with your quarterback?
I think you're witnessing the game slowing down for him. He's comfortable doing what he does best. But he's also developing where he might have had some some weaknesses in the past. And the pass game's coming along. He's seeing the field better, but at the same time, he's putting defenses in some really tough situations with his legs and especially when he takes off from the pocket. So there's good things coming with Justin Fields.
Have you felt the excitement, just being around even in your own building?
Yeah, I think the biggest thing is the guys around him, they believe in him. The one cool thing for me is on a daily basis at practice, you see he's loose, his confidence is coming along. He's feeling himself and that's where he's grown. So I love to see the confidence. Everyone's excited about what he's doing. We just want to continue to build off of that.
Chase Claypool, are you hoping for more downfield opportunities using that size just to see what that element brings?
With Chase, he can do a little bit of everything. He can take the short pass and extend it with his legs after the catch. He's also fantastic winning contested situations down the field as a vertical threat too. So we're excited with him. In my past stops, I've seen these situations where you have a lot of good talented receivers and tight ends out there and there's gonna be days where the ball swings to one person or the other, and there's gonna be days where it might be a little watered down and everyone's getting a little bit of a part of the game throughout the whole game. So we have a really good, selfless group that they're unselfish and when the ball comes their way, I think they're ready to make plays for us.
The media talked to Velus Jones Jr. this week. Sounds like he's in a great place and the fire is burning and when you're a healthy inactive, that sticks with you the rest of your career. You don't want to go back to that. Do you get that sense from him?
Yeah, I think one thing that we really emphasize when we bring players to the team is just being competitive. And that's what Velus is. So being a healthy inactive guy, that's always a tough thing to swallow. But at the same time, he was challenged to participate and be good on teams, not just as a returner, but a cover guy and a core teams player. So, he accepted the challenge. I'm excited to see him out there. And hopefully he can affect the game not only on teams, but also as a receiver. I'm sure he'll be participating in different packages.
A guy that's in the dumps right now, kind of, is Khalil Herbert having to go on IR.
Yeah, you feel bad for Khalil. He's had a really good start of the season, explosive runner. This is part of the game. I know he's gonna attack his rehab and get back as soon as he possibly can. The beautiful thing is it's the next man up and obviously, (David) Montgomery is going to continue to do his thing. But we get a good chance to look at (Trestan) Ebner and (Darrynton) Evans coming up to help us from the running back position.
I want to talk Luke Getsy. He's a quarterback for crying out loud. He likes putting the ball up in the air, this team is killing it on the ground. Does this shock you in any way?
Yeah, there was an emphasis when both myself and coach Eberflus came in the doors, is identifying what we're good at and highlighting that and leaning on that while we develop the other parts of our game. So we identified quickly that we're a really good run team, so we're going to pound away. I think it brings a really good energy and attitude to our team as well. To be physical, to be tough and just grind on teams throughout the game is important, especially when it starts getting cold and the snow comes up here in the North. So we're excited about that. And I think that's a credit to Luke. That's a credit to our O-line, our backs. (Offensive line coach) Chris Morgan has done a really good job helping put those run games together. So we're happy with that for sure.
Let's talk Jack Sanborn. Did you know he was an ideal fit? I'm assuming yes, because he's certainly playing like it.
Yeah, there may not be all the measurables, but the one thing as an evaluator you look for is instincts and he has that. He always has had that since he was in Wisconsin. And that stood out to us. So no surprise that a guy that has instincts, loves ball, has been preparing and waiting for his opportunity gets a chance to go in and makes a splash like he did.
Taco Charlton comes aboard. What do we know?
Yeah, Taco just adds some size, some length. I've had experience with him in Kansas City, coach Eberflus had some in Dallas as well for a year. So we're excited to add him to the mix, get a little rush and get a little run defense as well. So we'll see what he's got for us.
We're looking at the Falcons today. Fourth-ranked rushing attack, Mariota can move, defense they got Grady Jarrett. These are some of the highlights.
Yeah, they have speed, that's for sure. So it's gonna be a tough matchup, it's gonna be a physical one. Obviously both teams wanting to run the ball and be explosive, so it should be a fun Sunday.