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:
Justin Fields is a story, and all eyes are on him, Ryan, a sudden shift outside the building of what he is and what he's capable of becoming. How do you process all of it? Because you're on the inside here. What are your eyes telling you after that [peformance vs. Miami]?
Yeah, after a game like that, you're just proud. You're proud of the kid, just battling through adversity early, and just working with the staff to figure out what works and what can highlight his talents. And we're starting to see that. I think the beautiful thing is you can see in his body language, his confidence is growing, he's feeling comfortable, the game is slowing down to him. So I know this whole organization is pumped on the direction he's heading.
That locker room is jacked up right now.
I think after any game, win or loss, you've got to take what was good and what was bad. And you highlight what was good, and you try to build off of it. So you definitely feel like parts of the team are moving in the right direction. But then obviously, we're in this to win games. So the loss still hurt the same and there's a lot of work to be done. But yeah, there's some pieces of our team that we should be excited about.
Let's touch on Luke Getsy because he and his staff deserve a ton of credit, all those assistants. We've been talking about him all year. But as Luke said, there's no magic potion in the mini-bye to get here. But clearly, there's development going on here.
Yeah, big time. And I give a lot of credit to the staff and how much time they put into this. One thing we talk about around here is just being able to adapt and adjust, to be open-minded. And that's what they've done. They've adapted, they started with one thing and just slowly started to adjust and put guys in really good positions. So it's really good to see just in the development of the quarterback, but also just getting a lot of different guys involved in the game plan. And when you do that, that's hard for a defense to stop.
One of those guys is Cole Kmet.
Yeah, Cole did a great job. It's nice to see him get involved and make plays for us. We knew he could do that. Sometimes those things just take a little bit of time. So I know he's going to continue to do ascend throughout the year.
Let's flip to the other side to the defense. Certainly, they made some stops late to give you guys a chance to get the ball back in Justin's hands. But where are your concerns? Obviously, they've given up some points and third downs still seems to be a bit of an issue.
Yeah, I think with some of the personnel changes that have happened over the last few weeks, the guys are gelling together. So I expect them to get better. What I do like is how they were resilient. The first three quarters, they struggled a bit, but when the game was on the line in the fourth, you could feel them step up the energy and guys started making plays for us. So we've got to build off of that and let's see if we can take the end of that Miami game and move that to this whole game.
Is there a capability of somehow if the rush isn't getting home to create something?
Yeah, I think that's something the defensive staff is gonna look into, changing it up a little bit and see if we can get some some players home to the quarterback and at least disrupt the passing game. And I know they'll be creative and find different ways they can do that.
How about Jack Sanborn? First impression? Seven tackles in his first NFL start.
Yeah, no surprise there.That guy is instinctive. He plays hard. He's got a great nose for the football. So that stood out and again, if that's the floor, we should be excited because Jack's gonna continue to get better as he plays a lot of snaps. And just like a lot of rookies, at some point, the game is going to slow down to him. And I'm excited to see what that looks like.
We say it all the time and it's become cliche, two or three plays every game, you don't know which ones they're going to be. But you've been in position to make some of those plays in some of these losses. There is some silver lining in that though, because there's going to come a point where they're going to learn how to make those plays and learn how to win.
Yeah, I think the more time that we spend in these situations, the more we'll figure it out. I know our coaching staff, especially Flus (coach Matt Eberflus), puts those guys in very similar positions in practice, and they rep that out. So I would imagine over time, it's going to get better. The one thing we've talked about to the season is just finishing. We've got to find ways to finish and win these ballgames. And when we do that, and you think about all the close games, we could be looking at a team that's going to ascend quickly.
What are your impressions of the Lions?
That's a team, they really model their themselves after the head coach, and they're a tough and gritty bunch. They compete at a high level. So we've got to make sure we bring it and obviously, this is a divisional game, so this is one we have to win.
It's gonna be black and blue division, right? They play that way, you play that way. Cole Kmet was talking about that, they notice it too. They see it on tape.
Yeah, you see it on tape, and I know they see us on tape. So it should be a fun afternoon.