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Chicago Bears Postgame Transcripts 8/18

Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox and select players comment on their preseason game against the New England Patriots on Thursday, August 18, 2016.


JF:  Just an update on the injuries, Tony Moeaki left with a left hamstring, Jacoby Glenn is in the concussion protocol, Deonte Thompson, knee and ankle, and then Kyle Fuller did not make the trip. He did have a knee scope. Any questions?

Q: [Bryce] Callahan, is that a hamstring, as well?

JF: It's, you know, I think it is a hamstring.  

Q: John, on the scope of Kyle, any length for return? Any idea?

JF: No, now again, I'm not really big on that because it really never works out. So I would call it week to week. 

Q: And for [Danny] Trevathan, was that a knee?

JF: No, it's a hamstring strain. 

Q: John, the offense was a lot more efficient tonight, the first team offense I should say. Do you attribute any of that to being able to work with the Pats the last couple days?

JF: That is obviously helpful. We did it last season, but I think our guys just got better. We took a step forward and I think in time we will hopefully just continue to get better. That is pretty much the goal as we get ready to go to Houston.

Q: What did you see out of [Jeremy] Langford tonight, particularly the big run up the sideline tonight?

JF: You know, again, he made a step forward again, as well. He had a good week of preparation, good week of practice. You know, I thought he had a heck of a season a year ago, as a rookie, and he continues to impress and get better. 

Q: Jay Cutler was able to get into a rhythm in the first drive, what was your impression of Jay?

JF: We were disappointed in our performance last week and that is pretty well documented. You know, so some guys get challenged and they responded. I thought we executed much better really, in all three phases. 

Q: John, how would you evaluate week, in general. It seems like the game was an upgrade from a week ago, but was it the practice and the game put together?

JF: I think it's tremendous and that's why we do it. You know, the Patriots were great to us, their hosting, the operations, the fields, everything involved. They are a first class organization and it was good to come and operate with them. 

Q: But in terms of the quality of your play…

JF: The quality of our play is what it is, you know what I mean, so luckily for us it improved. 

Q: What was your vantage point on the strip and recovery that Tracy [Porter] had there, down near the goal line?

JF: It was away from us. I thought he did a great job of putting his hand in there and pulling it out. I think he may have even recovered it. I can't remember exactly who recovered it, but we have been stressing it, and I think Vic [Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio] and his staff, and it's good to see it happen in games.

Q: Did you see a good rhythm with Jay? He seemed to have a good groove.

JF: Yeah, you know, again last week we were a little sluggish. I think he played 10 plays, so it's hard to evaluate that. You don't really get into a rhythm in 10 plays, but I thought our execution was better. I have to look at the tape, see where we need to grow, but it seemed to look better live this time around. 

Q: John, what is the challenge that your young corners that you have to rely on have?

JF: Well, we rolled a lot of them through there, you know, and we obviously didn't have Bryce [Callahan] in the game and Danny Trevathan didn't play. You know, those are two pretty important in what we are doing, but it gave other people opportunities. You know, typically those guys, they pick the team, not me in how they perform. 

Q: When you sit down and look at the tape is there anything in particular that you look for, especially from a young cornerback out there?

JF: Yeah, just how they execute what we are asking them to do. It's everybody's assignment and if they execute their assignment and if everybody does that in one play, it usually looks pretty good.  

Q: Was Kyle Fuller's knee getting in the way of progress this preseason?

JF: Well, I think injuries, kind of get in the way of progress. You know, it was kind of getting worse and worse and didn't get better and I'm not a big fan of doing the same old stuff. I use a different word most of the time, but I think, you know, it was kind of bothering him, so we wanted to see and get it fixed. I think when we gets medically cleared, he will be back out there. You know, it's hard for me to predict when that's going to be. 

Q: I know the final result doesn't matter, but did you feel positive that you were able to get the offense going in the fourth quarter and make some plays?

JF: Well, anytime you are in the preseason, it is a mixed bag of guys out there. They get an opportunity and you challenge them at halftime. You know, they are trying to vie for one of those 53 spots and so, that's the guys that you end up picking your 53 from, so the guys that shine in those spots. 

Q: I know you don't like timelines, but the timing of when to do the Fuller thing. Is the hope that he's ready for the start of the season?

JF: I hope everybody is ready. But, you know, that's hoping. 

Q: Brian Hoyer seems to be struggling a little. Any concern there or is it just taking him a little bit longer to pick it up?

JF: I don't know if I would call it struggling. You know, he is a new quarterback in our system. Everything is new to him. I've seen him improve since he's been here. You know, and we will just keep working with him, as we move forward. 

The New England Patriots take on the Chicago Bears in a preseason game at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, August 18, 2016.


Q: Did this game just feel like a cleaner effort out of the gates for you tonight?

JC: We got some points. We were a little more efficient. There were a few penalties sprinkled in there that we've got to clean up, but the guys played hard.

Q: The way Jeremy Langford ran tonight, what do you make of his vision and the way that he's decisive?

JC: I think he did a good job. It starts up front – those guys opened up some holes, [inaudible] did a good job for us – we've just got to take this and we've got to get better. Last week we had some things we messed up and this week they were a little bit less and next week, we've just got to keep up with that pace. 

Q: How much more in rhythm did you feel tonight throwing once you got going?

JC: I felt good. We connected with [Alshon Jeffery] on that big one early that kind of gave us a little bit of momentum. There were a couple [throws] out there that – we got lucky with a few penalties that kept us on the field. Anytime you're converting on third down – you're putting points – that's heading in the right direction.

Q: On that first big one to Alshon what did you see on that play and what did you make of the adjustment?

JC: It's one-on-one. You just kind of give him a chance – give him an opportunity. More times than not he's going to make a play on it and that's what he did.

Q: Your receivers seemed to find some swagger as a group on Tuesday at practice and I think you hit your first six tonight. Are you noticing a steady improvement in the group as a whole?

JC: They're getting better. Kevin White is improving each and every day and I think we have a good feel about what [Alshon Jeffery] can do out there.  [Joshua Bellamy] and [Deonte Thompson] – there were a few balls out there that I think they're going to want back and make the play on. I thought the tight ends played well tonight. Tony Moeaki had a few catches [and] Rob Housler had a few catches, so that's a group that we're steadily progressing in the right way.

Q: What's your comfort level with Tony Moeaki?

JC: He's a pro. He gets it. He doesn't say much; he's always in the right spot. He's been around the league and he knows what's expected of him and he goes out there and he produces.

Q: When Kevin White has a drop, what response do you see from him? How does he handle it?

JC: I think he handles it well. He's always the first guy to blame himself no matter what the situation is, so I just try to keep him positive and keep him going. There's no point or real time for us to dwell on it, we kind of have to move on and he does that well.

Q: Where's the offensive line at after tonight?

JC: I thought that they played well. We didn't see much from them coverage wise or front wise, so it was a pretty bland game, pretty vanilla up there, but I think Ted Larsen has moved into that position quite nicely. The communication up there is pretty clean with those guys. There are a few honing calls we've got the clean up, like we've said, the running game was improved, so we've just got to keep heading in that right direction and hopefully we'll have a cleaner game this upcoming Saturday. 

Q: Did you think it was important to get going quickly after the first drive?

JC: Yeah, you know you're kind of at a pitch count here, so you know there are only so many plays for us, so if you don't get started quickly, you're probably not going to get started at all. So, it was good for us to get down there and overcome a few penalties on our part, get three up there and get another chance to add and put a touchdown in there, so that was good to see. It's hard to evaluate without seeing the film, but I'm sure there's some stuff that we left out there. 

Q: What have you seen in Bobby Massie through the course of the preseason and what he offers up front?

JC: He's a big dude. He's such a big guy. He's road grader up there and I think he's really worked harder on his pass-protection and him and Kyle Long over there – you've got an athletic group. That whole group up there I think has done a really good job and is a bit underrated I think, which is fine with us. They've gotten better and better each and every week. 

Q: Coach John Fox said after last week that you've got to challenge yourself. Did you as an offense feel challenged and feel like you had to respond to something?

JC: Yeah, there's some of that, but you also don't want to panic in that situation because it's the first preseason game. We had nine-ten snaps, so it's hard to get an evaluation out of that. We knew coming here that we'd go against a good football team, a well coached [team] disciplined group that has been in big games, been in big situations and has thrived in that. Having a younger team and guys looking to improve themselves – it was a good opportunity for us for three days to practice against a group like this and then try to go out and execute on game day. 

Akiem Hicks, Defensive Line

(On the play of the defense) 
"I think guys came out this week and were more prepared and worked hard. We put our best foot forward for this game."

(On why the team seemed to come out stronger in practice on Tuesday) 
"I think we walked in with the best intentions to practice well on Monday and the same goes for Tuesday. I feel like there was an energy step up on our second day of practice and I feel like going forward we wanted to bring that into the game."

(On how beneficial the week of practice with the Patriots has been) 
"The reps that you get tend to be a little bit more competitive and a little bit more of a fire in them and I think that benefits each team."

Jeremy Langford, Running Back

(On the offense looking better tonight) 
"The offensive line did a great job up front, they knew what they were doing. Especially since they were practicing against them [Patriots] all week in practice."

(On the offense creating running lanes) 
"They did a great job of that, it came from the coaching on down. They did a great job of running them out and giving me a way to go."

(On practicing against them Patriots) 
"That helped a lot, I think that was the most important part. You get to play against them and watch film on them at the same time."

(On the touchdown run) 
"I could see previously in our first couple drives they were running outside and how good our offensive line was pushing them out so it was up to me to just find that hole and run up there."

Kyle Long, Offensive Line
(On playing the game against his brother Chris Long and his family) 
"It was a third down and we were trying to convert, and I was coming back and I ended by their [Patriots] sideline and obviously their defense was coming over and I felt somebody hit me and I said who the heck hit me and it was Chris. I couldn't have asked for a better week. It was kind of cool and either way if I am playing in Zimbabwe they are going to find a way to watch, but this was special with mom, dad, and Chris being there."

Tony Moeaki, Tight End

(On getting a rhythm with Jay Cutler) 
"We connected a few times, on third downs, it was good to get that."

(On getting the opportunity to play) 
"The tight end group Just going out there every day and trying to show what we can do. Zach [Miller] being out has been giving more repetitions so it was good to go out and get some of those repetitions."

Tracy Porter, Defensive Back

(On his run coverage and fumble recovery) 
"I lost containment on the first one; I got too close to the line of scrimmage which allowed him to bounce to the outside. Then I beat him to the spot and that happens, it is a part of the game. Once they came out with the second opportunity, I knew they were going to run the ball. I wasn't going to get down that far to the line of scrimmage to force the fumble."

(On the depth at defensive back) 
"We always had depth but we were inexperienced because we got a lot of young guys on our team. Kyle [Fuller] definitely has a lot of experience coming in but him going down, we have to have that 'next man up' mentality…[inaudible] this is a game of next man up, same thing if I was down. They would have to have that next man up mentality. We have a lot of young guys who can step up to the challenge and we just have to speed those guys up a bit."

Kevin White, Wide Receiver

(On his performance and how he feels) 
"It was alright. Just alright. I still have a lot to work on and I don't want to get complacent. I just want to be better than I was yesterday. Then tomorrow I want to be better than I was today. I want to keep going as a player and learn from other guys."

(On practicing against New England) 
"Coming here is better than going up against our own teammates. That gets repetitive. They have a good group of guys here, a good secondary, a great team. Going against that group of guys helps was great. There was a little chipiness, but that's just the name of the game. Everyone is competitive and everyone is fighting for jobs. It's kind of expected."

Gary Williams, Offensive Line
(On practicing against New England) 
"It really helps you prepare. All you do is go against your own team all camp. This really helps you prepare for another opponent. You see new moves. I really like it. I think both teams did well and improved in different areas."

(On the fights during practice) 
"It's overrated, that stuff happens. It happens between teammates. It just happens. It's hot, it's camp and blood boils a little bit. It really wasn't that but it gets hyped. There's no big feud, it's just guys competing for a job and that is the best thing, guys competing."

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