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.
Bears getting ready for the Packers. The history has been crazy, same records in terms of wins in the NFL. It's great to be a part of this kind of tradition, isn't it?
It is and coach did a good job of bringing this rivalry up to our team in team meetings to just talk about how much that record means. I know our guys are fired up to defend that and get one over the Packers.
How significant is this to both fanbases and to the ownership groups?
Yeah this is a big game for the ownership groups and our players are aware of it. I know they're hungry to get a win here at Soldier Field.
The locker room doesn't feel like a team that right now has just three wins. What do you attribute this to?
I think it's our culture. I think it's the guys that we've brought into this locker room. They're staying positive, they're focusing on the main thing. I think it's important for them to understand and they do understand that through some of these losses they understand that we're just not there yet. It's not a failure, it's just we're not there yet. And our guys are looking themselves in the mirror and trying to improve week in and week out. But you love the energy. The locker room's tight and that was important to us is just keep that family atmosphere here so we can continue to get better.
They're all looking to No. 1, QB1, Justin Fields. They have great respect for what he's been doing. He's gonna be back here and that's certainly brought up a discussion of risk and reward. As the general manager, how do you look at this?
Coach Eberflus and I had spent a lot of time on this, and the main thing is it's the medical piece. We lean on our medical personnel – doctors, trainers – to make sure that well never put a player in harm's way. So through that information we felt comfortable progressing to him being full and giving him an opportunity to go out and play. But we had a standard of how we're gonna check those boxes to make sure our players are safe and we did that in this case.
How did you feel about Trevor Siemian fighting through what he had to fight through last week to complete that game and play?
Yeah, he's a competitor. He went out there, battled through some things. Thought he played really well in the first half and as we kind of got injuries and the day went along, you could tell it kind of went south on us quick. But, a lot of credit to Trevor and the toughness that he showed.
Eddie Jackson, Darnell Mooney , two guys that are heartbeats of their side of the ball in many respects. They go down for the rest of the season. Overall, did they impress you for what they did in their body of work?
They definitely did. I've talked about Mooney many times about his approach to the game, his passion for it, the work he puts into his craft. And he did that day in and day out. No one works harder than Mooney, so it crushes you to see an injury, but I know he's gonna bounce back and be really good. And that goes for Eddie too. I think Eddie has done a really nice job this year. I know he's had some rough years prior, but he was productive, he was a leader, he was part of the glue in our locker room. And I appreciate what he did give us when he was healthy and I know he'll be back and ready to go next year.
We've mentioned how the locker room is handling the season right now. A lot of young players getting great opportunities to show how they can perform when asked to do so and fill in for some of these guys. And they're handling the success and failures of the season. How, in your first year, are you handling the competitive side of seven out of eight losses and five in a row.
Every loss hurts bad. There's 24 hours, we talk about our 24-hour rule. You feel sick for 24 hours after you lose a game, that will never change. But around here what we talk about, we're just worried about solutions. How can we improve our football team? So we go right back to work, we try to get better. Our coaches are trying to get better, our players are trying to get better and in the front office, we're doing the same thing as we prepare not only for now and each week but also the future.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised anymore with Jack Sanborn?
No, that is the definition of a very good, instinctive football player. That's the tough part of scouting sometimes. You look for certain traits – speed, height, length, all those things – but at the end of the day there's really good football players that use their instincts to be productive and that's what he's done. And I couldn't be more happy for Jack.
My Cause My Cleats is this weekend. You're involved as well, what do you got goin?
Something important not only to me, but my family. My cause is the Beyond the Baby Blues local group here that supports women who have postpartum depression. We've gone through that as a family; we know how hard that is. So we wanted to support it, bring some awareness to it and hopefully we can do some good things and affect the community.
America loves the idea of Rodgers versus Fields today so what are we looking at?
You've got two really good quarterbacks. They're very different in ages and styles, but I can tell you that our guy, No. 1, is competitive and I know he's gonna do everything he can to get us that win and make it happen. So I'm excited to see it go down.