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Transcripts: 9-20-2022 Press Conferences


Do you feel like there was a difference in the run game this past week?

"I feel like times when we got it going, it was there. I watched the film and we had a lot of opportunities. You could see it sometimes Dameon (Pierce) was hitting the hole, getting positive yards. I think we really got to capitalize on that and keep that consistency going in the run game. Watching it, it's there. We've got to just find a way to finish the runs and keep it consistent."

When you face a team like Denver who has good pass rushers, do you feel like you need to get the ball out quicker?

"Not necessarily. Whatever play is called, we are going to try and execute the best way we can. If it's short routes, quick timing. If it's long routes, long timing. We are going to do the best we can. I feel like we were holding up throughout the game. There were some miscues here and there, but besides that I thought we fought our asses off."

When you go back and look at the film, what do you think is causing the fourth quarter offensive woes?

"Just us having to finish. We'll be up most of the game, competing most of the game, and somehow something just switches. We have to figure out what's causing us to not be able to finish games. The past two weeks, we haven't been able to finish and that's one thing we really need to get better at."

Can you talk about how you guys bridged the gap between OL Scott Quessenberry and OL Justin Britt?

"I feel like with Quess (Scott Quessenberry) in there we haven't missed a beat. I mentioned before somebody asked me how was the chemistry with the offensive line, I feel like the offensive line is always a tight knit group. We're together all the time. I feel like no matter who is in there at tackle, guard, center, we're close enough and practice enough together. We're able to keep chemistry and communicate. Quess played his ass off and I think he did a good job communicating while he was in there."

What did you think of OL Kenyon Green in his first career start?

"I feel like as a rookie, teams may find a way to, 'let's pick at that side of the ball wherever they're at.' I think he's been holding his own, doing a good job, and I think he's going to do nothing but take strides from there."

What are some things that OL Kenyon Green needs to do to help him move forward?

"I feel like with Kenyon (Green), probably just him being more exact on what he's doing. I know talking to coach, he's probably a little slower at figuring things out. Now, with him being in there, he's picking it up faster and faster as we've gone. I think he's going to do nothing but continue to strive when it comes to that. All that takes is reps and repetition and I think he's going to get better."

Do you remember your first start?

"You're stepping in there and you're thinking a lot, 'want to do this, want to do that,' and the next thing you know by the time you get into that fire, it's time to go. And I think once he takes those reps, he's going to be just fine."

How do you analyze the fourth quarter problems? Does fatigue have anything to do with it?

"I don't think us being in-shape wise has anything to do with it. I think we're in shape. We work out behinds off in practice. The main thing, I've said and you've said it, is how are we going to finish and that's something we are going to have to figure out. Like I said before, we have opportunities, we're in these dog fights in most of these games. We just got to figure out how to finish."

Is it mostly things that you guys are doing or are there things you didn't expect towards the end of games?

"I feel like it could be a little bit of both, us having to figure out to overcome it and finish games based on our part. But at the same time, we've just got to take advantage because we had plenty of opportunities down in the red zone a couple of times, end up backing up and having to kick a couple of field goals. I just think we've got to finish those drives because we had plenty of opportunities."

How much has OL Kenyon Green leaned on you this season?

"I talk to Kenyon (Green) a lot. On the field, off the field, very great dude. He's come to me all the time asking me question like, 'when do you shoot hands here and there? When do you throw your hands on this play?' Me and him go out together sometimes before practice and work on throwing hands. I think as far as him playing, and you can see it throughout, his hands are getting better, hands getting faster. He does come to me all the time, asks me questions about 'how do I take this approach?' And that's what you do as a rookie. You look at the older guys and ask questions, and same for me as him. Sometimes I ask him things like when we're going against the defender, 'hey, what is he giving you?' He's like, 'he's he doing this, doing that.' Throughout the game I'll go back and tell him, 'they just finished doing this and doing that.' That's what you look for out of offensive linemen, especially out of a young guy."

How do you respond when you can't score on the goal line? Is it a certain position that turns the outcome?

"Not any particular person. I think collectively as a group we all got to come together and understand the opportunities we have and about the team we're capable of being. I think that's one thing we have to do. I think this week we'll come together as a group. We're going to look at this tape and we're going to figure out how we want to finish games and win. I know we want to win and we have a good team and we're capable of doing it."

What are some of the challenges that you've seen that Chicago is going to bring this weekend?

"From my understanding, I think they play a similar defense that we have. As long as we do what we've got to do, keep a hat on the hat, be more consistent in the run game and hold up at the end of game, we will be fine. We will be fine."

What are your thoughts on Bears LB Roquan Smith overall as a linebacker?

"Very fast kid. I played him before. He is a thumper. He's fast and he's a physical linebacker, and I think when we get a chance to hit him, we got to make sure get the hat on him and we've got to account for him. Very explosive, fast linebacker."


What are your thoughts on how you and QB Davis Mills connected in Denver?

"I feel like we can build from that. Got another week to build on, a long season. I feel like it's a great opportunity for everybody to watch film and come out and work on the things we need to work on."

How has RB Dameon Pierce and the running game given the team more opportunities?

"DP (Dameon Pierce) man, he's fast, electric. Got to find ways to get him the ball. He's a great player so I feel like this week we're going to improve on the things we need to work on."

After watching the film, what are some reasons for the fallouts in the fourth quarter?

"I feel like we just need to finish in the fourth quarter. It's a long game. Four quarters, that's a lot of football. I feel like the last two games haven't done that well in the fourth quarter, but I feel like it's a long season. We're going to improve on that."

How has OC Pep Hamilton approached the game plan in the red zone?

"It really just comes down to what the game plan is. We trust it, believe in it. Whenever that time comes, we'll see what play call is dialed up."

What happened at the end of the game with kicking the net?

"It was kind of close. It was right there. It is what it is. Ran into it, nothing crazy. It's kind of a foot that got caught up a little bit. Got tangled up, but nothing serious."

What do you think about Chicago's secondary?

"I'm pretty sure it's a great secondary, great defensive backs. We're going to watch film today, scout report. Continue to study them and get ready to play this week."

What have you seen from QB Davis Mills and his ability for fast starts on the road?

"Same game plan. Practice that throughout the whole week. You know what the situation is going to be like, the crowd noise. We rehearsed that a lot. On Sunday, it's show time. We see that type of situations throughout the whole week, practice for that situation, loud noises. When game time comes, just show up."

Are you encouraged with the team's production in the passing game?

"It's a long season. I feel we're going to watch this film, find things we need to work on and build from that."


What is your main takeaway from Week 2?

"Still got a lot of room for improvement but I understand when we watch film, we put up some good things on film. That's the areas where you feel like you're really good at it one week, but the next week you just have to keep finding ways to get to the quarterback. From the starting point of Week 2, I'm pretty good with where we're at."

Can you talk about your sack and the play you made?

"It was more-so I just got a little inkling of the tackle looking down a little bit, wanting to play off that. They have a scheme where they love to block down that tackle a double the three-tech (technique) and I just tried it. Honestly, it was one of those plays we needed a play. I knew that I wasn't going to get initially blocked so I just took off and played ball after that."

It seemed like the defense was ahead of the bootleg plays in Denver. How will that carry over into Chicago?

"It was just a solid job of stopping the run initially just making sure that we took away the first thing they wanted to do, get the ball rolling. After a while, we knew when the obvious downs were where they were going to need to gain some of the yards if it wasn't going to be through the run. That's what Rus (Russell Wilson) has been known for obviously all of his career, rolling out and making plays with his feet. At times, we just played our keys and it just took us to the ball. We feel like we did a good job, had a really good game plan going in and I would say just executed it pretty well."

Because it seems like the linebackers are more involved in pass rushing this year, how much more creativity does that give you?

"That's true. It helps us out because obviously they're going to have to block five people now. It makes us get a chance to get us one-on-ones and really everybody has chance to win and get to the quarterback. It fits in pretty well. Our linebackers are playing fast, reading their keys. It helps us out on way to the football. Playing complimentary football with us back and forth is always helpful."

What have you seen from Bears QB Justin Fields and his ability to keep the play alive?

"He's an athlete. That's what you get drafted early for guys like that. He's a huge talent, good size, good speed. He's a young quarterback who's still growing in this league and making a lot of plays. We understand that from an athletic standpoint, what he can do with us if we're not honing in on our technique and staying within the defensive scheme. We're going to do our best to make him feel uncomfortable back there and do our same objective every week as a D-line, continue to be disruptive."

What have you seen from DL Thomas Booker after his first NFL game?

"Book (Thomas Booker) is a big, strong kid. Smart kid as well. I'm glad he's finally getting these opportunities to get his feet wet because a guy his size, his stature, what he can do in this league. Obviously with his ability, what he's able to do right now as a rookie, just with some fine tuning, he's going to be really well. I just know that he's going to continue to come back to work just like he does every day, learn from the vets and guys in his position, soak up all that knowledge so that way he can be a better player."

I know it's the beginning of the season, but does it seem like the AFC South is pretty wide open?

"It's the beginning of the season, we're all kind of at that level playing field. Obviously, we tied first week so it didn't hurt us, but it didn't help us. At the same time, we also understand that in this division, anybody can get beat on any given Sunday. It's always up for grabs, just have to make sure to bring it. As we've seen, Jacksonville just put a goose egg on Indy (Indianapolis Colts). Just simple things that like, how the roles switch like that, that switch the AFC south can be. We're going to bring it and that's what we've got to do every single week because you never know."

Is HC Lovie Smith the one trying to get defensive linemen more one-on-one this year?

"I think it was just always there I think. Looking back on it, just because the way the defense is set up and just with him (Lovie Smith) coming in that first year was new for us. It was hard for us to just completely buy in because from a technicality standpoint, or just from a fundamental standpoint, it goes against what a defensive lineman usually does from a one-gap system to a two-gap system. Really just us going and believing in the system now, you just see us playing faster. That's what it could have been last (year) but now we're all buying into that process overall and understanding these things will work if we just follow the plan. Just feeling really good"

What is the next step for this team to be a legitimate threat in the AFC South?

"At this point, that's what you practice for. You go and find it every single day. Understand that this game is all about steadily evolving and being innovative with your craft. I think we have the talent, it's just a matter of finishing those plays and understanding we have to find it. There's not magic to it. We literally have to just put our heads down to work. That's what every other team does. There's no magical sauce to it. You see them just make plays whenever it comes their way. I think we've got the guys to do it. We've got to the scheme to do it, the coaches and the staff to do it. It's just a matter of doing it now, honestly. We're going to continue to do our best and that's all that we can try to do from our standpoint."

How have you improved your game from last year to this year?

"I'm really just playing faster, more confident. I got in better shape, dropped a couple pounds, just so I can be more light on my feet and understand what the scheme asks me to do, a lot of moving around and things of that sort. I'm just being overall available and healthy for the team. Just a better point not only for myself but for the defensive linemen and everyone else within the organization. I can continue just try to do my best every time. I feel like next year there's going to be something else as well where I learn something new about myself. I just continue to just take that in and add it to the game and just keep going."

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