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:
Here with general manager Ryan Poles heading into Week 3 against the visiting Houston Texans, Bears at 1-1. Good morning, how are things Ryan?
Good, everything's good. We're excited to get another opportunity to play football and see what we've got.
What are your takeaways from [last] Sunday night?
Obviously, we're disappointed. Everyone in this building hates losing, especially to that team. But it's a learning experience. Coach Flus really challenged the entire team to go back to the tape, figure out what they did wrong, what they need to improve on and come out this next week and improve.
There's a couple words in this league: patience, which nobody has time for, and panic is another one, because you can't panic at two unorthodox offensive games. You're talking about a weather plan for San Francisco, the 41 snaps at Lambeau. Are you able to generate good data on where the unit is trending or is it just too small of a sample size right now to draw any immediate conclusion?
The first thing we have to talk about is no one's panicking. There won't be panic in this organization at all. There's going to be adversity and we're going to have to learn from it and get better. In terms of the sample size, yeah, it's small. It's been two games, choppy versus the Packers, which is time of possession, but we didn't execute well enough and do the little things, then the rain with San Francisco. So I'm excited to get another opportunity to have our guys go out there and play, and we'll continue to evaluate like we said we were going to and see what we need to improve to win football games.
The fourth quarter goal line play, the Justin Fields run, has gotten a lot of attention, what are your thoughts?
The first thing is you never want to play in the gray. You don't want the video or the officials to have to make the call of if it worked or it didn't work. The truth is we just needed to execute at a higher level to get more push and make sure we got in the end zone and not leave any doubt at all. So, we just got to get better.
Everyone is fixated on every twitch of Justin Fields and it wouldn't matter who was playing quarterback, that would be the case here in a market like this. What's your calculus on his progress?
That's a part of the playing the quarterback position. The one thing I do know is Justin is mentally tough to be able to quiet the noise and to continue to improve week to week. In terms of the evaluation, we want to see him continue to grow. I talked about that in training camp and really all the way back to offseason, and he's done that. He keeps getting better every week. Now that we're in the regular season, things change, things speed up. It's a new offense, a new coordinator and it's a new year too. So I'm excited to see him come back and respond to the Green Bay game and do some really good things against Houston.
We saw what a man looks like when he runs possessed and that was David Montgomery last week.
I loved it. I loved it. That's what we want to be, that's the attitude we want to play with in all phases and I thought David did a heck of a job. He got downhill, he ran violently and was able to be a bright spot last week. So we look forward to him doing that again, and if we can get that out of I'm consistently, we're going to be a good football team.
Let's go to the defense, what are your thoughts on the unit so far?
One thing we're not going to take away from them is they played hard. They played fast. What we need to do is just clean up the details, and I know [defensive coordinator] Alan [Williams] was hard on those guys about tackling and wrapping up and doing things within the scheme, so we're expecting that. The bright spots as well, I thought Justin Jones and [Trevis] Gipson played well with pressures and making plays in the backfield so, again, hopefully they can continue to stay on that track.
Only six points allowed so far in the second half by the Bears defense. You're getting good special teams play too. The rookie punter [Trenton Gill], he's been outstanding. Your rookie returner Trestan Ebner, he's flashing for sure.
He's doing a good job, and to be honest, he's left some yards out there too, so he's been challenged this week to continue to get better. I think the big thing is we need all three phases to play well this week, and I think that would be a good takeaway for this game.
How do you size up Lovie Smith's crew—you're an AFC guy coming over to the NFC playing the Houston Texans—in your mind?
It's a typical Lovie team. They're going to play hard. They play good defense, and they have some offensive weapons as well, so we have to be ready. Like any week in the NFL, we've gotta be prepared, be studied up and be ready to go all four quarters.