General manager Ryan Poles spoke with Jeff Joniak Monday 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 go back a little bit. It's more than a week ago, but how tough was that loss to Washington?
Yeah that was tough. You can tell how competitive this football team is with how hard that one hit. But at the same time, for a young team, we've got to learn how to finish. We've got to learn to take advantage of opportunities to seal games. We didn't get that done. But there was a ton to learn from that and I hope that we can continue to get better.
So coaches did their due diligence over the course of time (during the 11 days between games). What did you guys do as a personnel staff?
Yeah, same thing, same thing and I actually was with coach Eberflus just with getting with our staff, the coordinators, and all the position coaches, and really just taking a look in the mirror. And I think that's important for any good organization is the ability to look in the mirror and say, 'Okay, what are we good at? What are we not?' And then really put a plan in place to attack the weaknesses. Our unit coaches got with their individual players and did the same thing. So I'm excited to see them improve, our guys improve, our scheme improve, continue to put our players in good positions to be successful.
Did you like what you heard?
I did. There was really good feedback and they're attacking it. You can tell they care, they want to win games. So I expect to see some good things come out of it.
Amazing injury report this week, knock on wood. I mean, it's awful rare. What is that a testament to?
You've got to give a lot of props to the guys taking care of their bodies, coach Eberflus working with the performance team in terms of the way that we practice, the way that we recover. All of that stuff is working. Being healthy is a big part of this and hopefully we can continue to be healthy.
Another national stage tonight, so a lot of evaluations from those outside the building: analysts, ex-players and whatnot. And there's a lot of conversation always about what's been put in place around Justin Fields. I'm sure you hear about it. What do you think about it?
Yeah, for where we're at,, I'm expecting those guys to make plays that are around him. I expect our offensive line to continue to improve and get better to give him more time and take hits off of him. I expect the guys on the perimeter to make plays for him. I believe in those guys. I believe in Justin. There's a lot of details that we've got to get better at and I think everyone can show that they can play in this league and make plays for Justin as well. We'll be able to evaluate Justin at the end of this process and throughout the year and he should be able to get better as he gets comfortable.
Some of the things are obvious. You're running the ball great, the passing game is quiet. You're not stopping the run consistently, but the pass defense is outstanding, and special teams have been really solid, aside from a couple of muffed punts. Overall, is that a pretty fair standard statement about where the Bears are at at this moment entering Week 7?
Yeah, when we went through those meetings, those were the topics that we thought we were doing well. We are running the ball well, our O-line's blocking well in the run scheme, our defense is getting better every single week and I expect that to continue. I think the key for us is just to attack the weaknesses that we have right now and improving those areas.
Justin hates losing. He said it and I could see it on his face all week. He's got a real business-like approach, seems dialed in. That's the kind of guy you want at the quarterback position, at any position. How do you feel he's channeling everything?
Yeah, I think he's doing a good job. Obviously, there's frustrations when you lose. I had to check myself after the game, just getting upset and frustrated, wanting to win that game. But his approach has been great. It's business-like, he's professional. He went right back to work to improve.
What a test tonight because few first and second-year players at quarterback position have success at Gillette Stadium. You went to school around here at Boston College. You know what that's all like. You've been in earshot of it anyway and now as a personnel executive.
Yeah, it's always a tough place to play. They're a really good team. They've sustained success for a long period of time. So it's gonna be a great challenge for our football team to come in here and try to get a win.
N'Keal Harry is ready to go. What do you think he brings to the table this week?
Yeah just another element to our offensive game. Toughness, strength, both in the run game, but also he has ability to make plays in the passing game. So we're excited for him to showcase his talents and really help this team take the next step.
Velus Jones Jr.: Where is he at right now and have you spoken to him at all?
Yeah, obviously when you make mistakes, you feel like you let the team down. There's no way better than to help the team and kind of get over those mistakes than to make plays the following week. So we expect him to do that.
NFL trade deadline coming up. Usually pretty quiet. Is your phone ringing? And would you be open to moves?
Yeah, it's not ringing right now. But we will evaluate different situations and see if it's best for our organization. I think it's smart to always pick up those phone calls and have discussions to see if it's going to help us get into a position where we can be successful.
Lastly, 24.6 miles I think from Chestnut Hill to Foxborough. As an undergrad offensive lineman at that school knowing the success of Bill Belichick and Mr. Kraft. I mean, kinda pinch yourself a little bit tonight?
Yeah, actually, I went back there yesterday just to check out campus and talk to the coaches and some of the staff that were there when I was there. It's really cool being back in the area, but at the same time, I'm just ready to get this game on and win.