HEAD COACH BILL BELICHICK
Postgame Press Conference
Monday, October 24, 2022
BB: It's obviously a poor performance tonight. We were badly out-coached, out-played. Just didn't do anything well enough in the game to have a chance to win or deserve to win. The Bears did a good job. Totally controlled the game in all three phases. Well, we have obviously a lot of work to do here and need to perform a lot better than that. Need to compete better than that and perform better than that. It's not any one thing. Just collectively it's all of us, and we just have to all perform better. Simple as that. That's where we're at. It's not about any one player or one coach, one thing. Just collectively we've got to perform better, so that's what we'll work toward doing this week.
Q: Did the Bears do anything to surprise you tonight? Because, except for a couple of occasions, it seemed the defense had no answers whatsoever for Fields or the receivers.
BB: We didn't have a lot of answers for anything. We didn't play well in the kicking game. We didn't play well on defense or offense. Obviously, we didn't coach well. Pick whatever you want. You can say the same about every phase of our game.
Q: I believe you told ESPN that the intention was to play both quarterbacks in this game. Was that because of Mac Jones' health?
BB: Yeah, that was a factor, yes.
Q: Who is the starting quarterback?
BB: We just finished the game.
Q: So when Mac came out of the game, Bill, was that a medical decision, the timing of pulling him?
Q: Was that related to the interception? That was his last play tonight.
BB: No, we had planned to play – I told the quarterbacks that we were going to play both of them, and that's what we did.
Q: Was the plan for three series? It seems, when his last play is an interception, it looks like a benching for performance.
BB: That's not what it was, but you can write whatever you want to write. That's not what it was.
Q: Was Mac Jones aware he would play only part of the game?
Q: At what point in the week did these guys know at the beginning of the week that this was the plan all weeklong, or how did it work out with reps at practice?
BB: We went through the week.
Q: So they were aware of the situation that they were going to split reps?
BB: We went through the week of practice. Mac was inactive last week.
Q: Bill, was there any consideration toward putting Mac Jones back into the game as the game went on, or was the decision to stick with Bailey after the third series sort of set in stone?
BB: No, he would have gone back in. The score got out of hand. I didn't think that was the right thing to do.
Q: Just going forward, as you have the Jets coming up next, do you see a situation where you might go one quarterback one week and one the next and have kind of a platoon situation, or are you going to start one quarterback each week?
BB: No, I don't see that.
Q: Do you think Mac got enough work tonight to have confidence if he has to play against the Jets next week?
BB: I don't know.
Q: What was a benefit of the preplanned rotation at quarterback?
BB: I think it was the best thing to do based on the situation.
Q: What was the situation?
BB: The whole situation.
Q: A lot of Justin Fields' runs so far this year have been improvisational. Today they did a lot more designed runs. Is that something that the defense was prepared for?
BB: We knew what his ability was. Once a couple of those started hitting early in the game, then we could see that's the way the game was going to go. So, yeah, I wouldn't say it was a total surprise. Once it declared, then we were definitely playing for it. We didn't do a great job defending it, but yeah.
QUARTERBACK MAC JONES
Postgame Press Conference
Monday, October 24, 2022
Q: Mac, when did you know you were going to be the starting quarterback tonight?
MJ: I think we had a good plan, as always, just to go throughout the week and figure out what we want to do for the game. Coach Belichick was very good about communication and felt like I was good to play, and we had a good plan there, and obviously didn't play well enough there. Yeah.
Q: Is it difficult to be to be the best you, though, when you know that the plan was to include two quarterbacks playing tonight?
MJ: Honestly, like I always say, I just try to control what I can control. That's my attitude and my effort. That's something that I've done since high school. Obviously, I need to be able to play better, and we do as a team as well. So I just have to lead the team and do that.
Q: How deflating was it to hear the Zappe chants almost after every series or every time he touched the ball?
MJ: Yeah, I think obviously, like I said earlier, definitely wanted to play better. I just have to do better at my job, and that's all it comes down to. That's all I can control. Honestly, we've got a good chance here to go against the Jets, and that's what I'm focused on. I'm going to do my best to put my best foot forward. I've been in this situation before, and just going to try to help the team. Whatever my role is, I'll be ready, and I'll give it 100%.
Q: Do you anticipate starting on Sunday against the Jets?
MJ: I guess when Sunday comes, we'll know. I just, like I said, want to become a better player and prepare like I always prepare and put the hours in every day. My schedule doesn't change. I'm just going to continue to do that, and hopefully the results will take care of themselves. There's some things you can't control, and I'm just going to control, like I said, my attitude and my effort and come in early, stay late, and do my job.
Q: Were you surprised at the timing of Bailey being put in the game? Did you know the third series was going to be your last one?
MJ: Like I said, I think Coach Belichick had a really good plan for us. Obviously, that's kind of internal stuff, but I understood the plan and what was going to happen. Obviously, wish we got off to a better start, and I played a little bit better, but I'll have a chance to practice and get back into my routine. Something that I want to work on is getting back in my routine. I'm a very routine person, and I'm excited for this week. That's all you can do, right? You can't really look back in the past. Obviously, the game wasn't good by any of us, and starts with me.
Q: After Zappe threw the touchdown pass, you showed a lot of class in being the first one up to go congratulate him. You being the captain of this football team, how do you bring this team back?
MJ: Yeah, I think I'm always going to be a good team player. I did that at Alabama when I waited my turn, and I did it in high school. I did it in Pop Warner. I know I'm a good teammate, and that's one of the things that I pride myself on the most. Whether I'm in the game or not, I try to be a good teammate. We have a lot of good players on this team, and obviously, tonight we didn't play our best. Like you said, there's always a chance to turn around. I think you look in the past, and really good teams, they don't just climb all the way up to the top. There's a little bit of a mountain that you have to go up, and you might have to stop or go down to get some air, but you better be able to shoot back up. That's my plan, and that's our plan. I know we're going to be able to do it.
Q: Just how are you feeling physically? Bill said your health was a factor in your playing time tonight.
MJ: I feel pretty good. Just trying to put in the hours like I did the past couple of weeks. If you are injured, that's what you have to do. You have to put in the hours, the treatment, recovery, ice, hot tubs, whatever you can do. I've been trying to do that. That's all I can control. I feel pretty good, but obviously, with time things get better, so just trying to do that.
Q: There are some reports this week that you were 85%, 90%. Is that where you would ballpark it at?
MJ: I didn't really do the whole percentage thing. You are either able to play or not. In the NFL you don't get any credit for playing hurt or not, and there's no excuses. So I felt like I was good to go. Like I said, with time it will get better. Just got to play the game of football better.
Q: Probably tonight at a minimum you wanted to knock the rust off and get acclimated. Were you given enough of a chance to get confidence to play against the Jets?
MJ: I've played a lot of football, but at the same time I'm still a young player. Any chance I get to go on the field, I want to put a better product out there. Like I always say, I prepare hard, but you have to be able to put on the field, and I'm going to assess myself because I can only really speak for myself and just do better. At the end of the day, I've been playing this game since I was 5 years old, playing quarterback since I was 5. It hasn't been like this the whole time. I've had to face a lot of different challenges. Some people don't know about, but I just kept working, and that's what I'm going to do and try to be the best teammate I can be and help the team any way possible and we'll be able to go out there and hopefully turn this thing around and win some games.
Q: I noticed you ran the ball three times when you were in there in the first quarter. You seemed, when you ran the ball, you were making an effort to get out there and go, that kind of a thing. We saw that. Was that to make sure you could test out that ankle and to make sure that you were ready going forward?
MJ: I think it's just football. Sometimes there's lanes to run, and I'm not necessarily a running quarterback, but I'm just trying to get yards and move the ball. Obviously, we get more yards when the ball is in someone else's hands. I have to be able to throw it to the open guy and get it to them. We have great skill players, a great offensive line, great backs, great coaches. There's no excuses. I'll play better and watch the tape and figure out kind of go back to my bucket system, what do I need to do better and what am I doing okay. I'm going to do that again here.
Q: What was communicated to you while you were pulled after the third drive that you played at quarterback?
MJ: I think, like I said earlier, just part of the plan. I think Coach Belichick obviously did a really, really good job explaining it to me. I knew what the plan was, and the timing is the timing; but we were on the same page, and there's no hard feelings or anything. I wish I played better while I was in there, but hopefully I'll have a chance to do that in practice and kind of earn that back and then apply it in the game. We definitely want to play better as a team, and we're going to do that and work together and put our best foot forward.
Q: Overall, how was the speed of the game? Did it take a while to get back to you, or did it feel like you could drop back in and go?
MJ: It was fine. I think you can't think about things that you can't control, whether that's injury or anything like that. You just have to go out there and play. Once you're out there, you don't really think about anything. You're just out there playing. That's the goal is to just rely on your instincts and go out there and read and react.
QUARTERBACK BAILEY ZAPPE
Postgame Press Conference
Monday, October 24, 2022
Q: Bailey, how would you describe what your understanding of the plan entering the game for you was?
BZ: Yeah, I think that is something, you know, for Coach Belichick. I prepared this week like I have every other week. I prepared as if I was going to play or not. This game didn't go our way, so get back to work this week, and get ready for the Jets.
Q: Can you just talk about your range of emotions tonight from, obviously, you did the first two series to then the second half.
BZ: Yeah, just got to get better. Can't fall off like I did. I've got to make some throws. I've got to make better decisions on certain things. That's the good thing about having another week. Get back at it tomorrow. Watch film tomorrow. Get ready for next week.
Q: When you went into the game, was it with the message that you were going to be going in the rest of the game, or was there any conversation about Mac potentially going back into the game?
BZ: Nothing to my knowledge. Of course, that's something that's for Coach Belichick. My job was to go in there and get the ball to my playmakers. I need to do a better job of that going into next week.
Q: Obviously, disappointed with the loss, no question. The weather conditions tonight, it looked like both teams were kind of having trouble handling the ball. At one point when you were handing the ball off to Jakobi Meyers, there was the fumble. Was that a difficult thing for you guys tonight out there?
BZ: I wouldn't say it was difficult. It's something that we practiced. That play, that's something that we just have to correct moving forward, but I wouldn't say that that's anything that we didn't expect. We expected a wet ball. We practiced a wet ball. So we were prepared for that.
Q: Bill Belichick told ESPN that it was the plan all along for both quarterbacks to play. Did you know that both quarterbacks were going to play tonight?
BZ: I prepare like I have every other week, and if that decision was made for me to go in, then I was going to go out there and do the best for my team.
Q: Didn't really run too much. Is this something that – is this the coach's decision, or were you just thinking the situation wasn't right?
BZ: More of the situation wasn't right. You know, like I said, there are some things I need to do better at, better decision-making. Some of those, maybe I can scramble or get some yards or maybe I can dump it down to check down and just take the profit. That's the thing, watch film tomorrow and get better.
Q: Did you get first team practice reps late in the week?
BZ: That's a question – moving on to the Jets, actually. So getting ready for them.
Q: Did you feel like you were properly prepared? It seems like the plan was to play two quarterbacks. Is it difficult to get two quarterbacks ready to go given the limited practice time that you guys have?
BZ: You take mental reps whenever you're not in. That's another way that you can prepare throughout the week. It's not all physical. So whenever you're not in standing behind the quarterbacks taking mental reps, that's another way you can do it throughout the week.
Q: Throughout especially in the second half we saw an issue with Bears defenders getting hands on passes at the line of scrimmage. Was there anything they were doing to interrupting passing lanes that were giving you trouble getting the ball out down the field?
BZ: I mean, that just goes on to me. I have to do a better job of getting around defenders, finding lanes to get it to receivers. Of course, that's something else that I continue to work on. So, I just have to get better finding lanes, getting around defenders, getting over top of them, around them, whatever it may be.
Q: At what point in the week did you find out that Mac Jones was going to start the game?
BZ: About the same time y'all did. I prepare like I have every other week like I was one play away and getting ready for every game like I have the last seven weeks, and same thing I'm going to do this next week.
LINEBACKER MATTHEW JUDON
Postgame Press Conference
Monday, October 24, 2022
(On what the Bears did with Fields that gave the defense problems)
"I think he just had running lanes. He kept the drives going on third down. We gave him third-and-long and it seems like he would just find a running lane and pick it up with his feet or make a throw. I think he was just keeping the chains moving. I think we kind of had no answers for him. We have to look at the film and get that corrected."
(On how he would characterize the execution and the effort from the defense)
"I believe the effort was there, like I said it was just running lanes. We didn't execute by stopping them. That's pretty much it. But when you have a running quarterback like that, and we knew he could run the ball, how fast he is, and how good he is just creating. You have to be locked in on a guy like that. You have to execute every play. There's no plays off because, like you can see, he will just pick up 30, 40 yards with his feet."
(On if there was disappointment on not taking control of the game)
"Not disappointing. I think the encouragement is we were down 10-zip and nobody hung their hat. But once we come back and get that lead, we have to execute. We have to get a stop on defense. I think they just drove the ball and got a field goal out of that. Then they were getting the ball back at halftime. So we have to execute and we have to come out and play well back on defense."
(On what this loss says about the group and how they can change course heading into division games)
"We have some division games coming up and it's a long season. We fought back to get to .500 and then we dropped this one tonight. But all that means is we have to come back and continue to fight. That's really all that means. We have to continue to hang our hats on our fundamentals, our pilings and just continue to be resilient as a team.
SAFETY DEVIN MCCOURTY
Postgame Press Conference
Monday, October 24, 2022
(On what about Justin Fields gave the defense trouble)
"He just made a lot of plays, I'd say. Throwing, dropping back, scrambling, more designed runs than we saw on film. I think with the extended time they added some plays that I think we saw in the Baltimore game with Lamar Jackson. Some of those style of plays, but we just didn't do a good job of keeping him in the pocket. Early they had some kind of moving the pocket plays, boot plays, roll pass, to get them more comfortable. But then, just some big third downs where he was able to scramble, by time, throw some passes on the run. Things that we knew coming in. I would just say overall, across the board, as a team, it was just a poor showing. Across the board, from beginning all the way to the end."
(On the message to the team moving forward to the Jets with a short week)
"Yeah, I mean we don't have time to worry about this one. We don't have time to sulk or feel sorry for ourselves. We're at Tuesday tomorrow. We need to be getting ahead on the film. The Jets will be ahead on the film. They'll be watching us, so we need to do the same thing. We need to turn the page and start preparing. We go down to New Jersey, we could easily come back with another loss. That team is a good football team. They're rolling right now. We need to get ahead and focus on next week. We need to let tonight be what tonight is. If you want to watch the film, watch the film tonight and we need to move on by tomorrow morning and try to catch up to where the Jets are, because right now, they're ahead of us. They didn't play a game tonight, they'll be preparing, getting ready to go Sunday."
(On who the starting quarterback would be going forward)
"We'll have to see. I know for me, defensively, as we gave up thirty-three points. I don't think anybody on defense needs to worry about who the quarterback is going to be at all. We need to worry about what we need to do and figure out how we're going to get stops and play better. I think that needs to be the key for everybody on defense."
PLAYERS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
Davon Godchaux, DL
(On what the Bears did that gave them trouble)
"I can't even really sit here and make excuses. They just played better than us. We played terrible in all three phases of the game. It was really embarrassing."
(On what they have to do to turn around for next game)
"We have to turn around because the New York Jets are playing well and it's a divisional game. No one is going to feel sorry for the Patriots, so we have to turn around and flip the page. I am going home and watching film tonight and then we'll all come in and get to work."
(On what the defense can do better)
"Quarterback runs is what is killing us. We have a good defense and we know it but we didn't display that tonight. Right now, it's all about next week and the team is going to look at film tonight and take it all into the Jets next weekend. We have to fix this because we have a really good defense and a really good team. We can't just keep saying, we have to put it on film."
Hunter Henry, TE
(On if the momentum picked up once Baily Zappe came in)
"We all just executed well. I would not just say it was him, but he did do a good job of executing. When we start to get things going then it begins to snowball."
(On how disappointing today's effort was)
"It was terrible. I think everyone is disappointed. We have to leave ourselves in here and go out on Sunday and plan again, so we have to look ourselves in the mirror and decide what we want to do."
(On how they turn around how they played today)
"I think we start by looking at today's game. We are just doing things that are putting us behind the sticks and it makes it tough to recover."
(On if Zappe coming into the game was a surprise to him)
"No. I mean everyone has a job to do. That decision is beyond me and whatever it is, our job is to go out there and execute and do what we have to do."
Jakobi Meyers, WR
(On if tonight was eye opening)
"Yeah definitely. We have a lot of good vets so we knew what would happen if we came out here and did not play our best. We kind of got exposed today. We have got to go back into the locker room tomorrow and come back and be better."
(On if the fumble changed the momentum)
"Yeah, I would say so. That was definitely kind of a momentum killer. I am better that that, just have to come out and be better next time."
(On how the team moves forward from here)
"It's the NFL. You know that it's not our first loss. I mean it was definitely eye-opening but at the end of the day we have to come here and be better next week, nobody wants to lose two in a row. Hopefully we can come in, have a good week of practice, and play better."
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB
(On if Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe were both getting first-team reps in practice)
"I mean it looks the same each week, we all get the same amount of reps. It is just practice to perform on Sundays, Mondays, things like that. It was just a regular week."
(On how disappointing this loss was)
"I mean an L is an L regardless. It's not a positive thing, we just need to go back and get better.
(On if anything changes based on who the quarterback is)
"Nope, not at all. We all practice the same plays the same week. So no drop off or anything."
(On if this was a reality check)
"No I do not feel like it is a reality check. We need to go back to work and just get better and grind throughout the week.
(On his career-high eight catches and comfort level as a receiver)
"I am comfortable with it. It was just the defense they were playing. They were just dropping out and leaving me open and Bailey was dropping it off to me."
Myles Bryant, DB
(On his interception)
"I think it was a good point in the game. It allowed our offense to go down and score. It definitely worked. We could've used a couple more of those. We had some plays we let get away. We've got to get back to work this week and get ready for New York."
(On the defense in the first half)
"Like I said, it's getting back to work, watching the film, and improving on the stuff we did good and bad. Seeing that on film, getting back out there on Wednesday and sharpening up."
(On if Justin Fields surprised the defense)
"Not really. We came into the game knowing he was a guy who could use his legs and would buy time using his legs. I think he did a good job with that. Finding time in the pocket and those guys able to get open and us not being able to plaster as well as we'd like to. They did a good job."
(On the defensive struggles on third down)
"Fields bought time. He got it done through the air and with his legs. He did a good job doing that. Kudos to them."
Mike Onwenu, OL
(On the Bears loading the box to stop the run game)
"They were loading the box. Slanting. Same thing everybody else does. They just came out and played better."
(On how the offense can grow from here)
"You can only do so much. Obviously, everyone knows we're going to run the ball so they want to load the box to stop the run. We've got to work from there and get open."