Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox – Conference Call – 11/11/15

(On coming back from the road trip with a victory)
“Well it makes the plane ride always better after victories, for sure.”

(On how things are going and playing in a lot of tight games)
“I think we’re making progress. Any time you come in with a first year staff, we’re putting in new offense, new defense, new special teams. There’s some growing pains. We’re getting to know the players. The players are getting to know us. Mindset and attitude-wise they’re working hard and we seem to be improving each week.”

(On how tough it is to in one year’s time to instill everything he wants to as a coach in one year’s time)
“Obviously, continuity in football, which some would argue it’s the most team-oriented game alive. I think that’s important. From a continuity standpoint, you don’t get a lot of favors. We had an extra minicamp and that was about it as far as what the rest of the league that doesn’t have new staff. That’s part of the deal. Ultimately, it comes to what we want to set here. Guys are all in trying to accomplish that.”

(On how quickly after the Chargers game he started looking at the Rams)
“Like most staffs, sure it’s a short week on this end, but it’s a long week on the other end. Technically, most staffs, I know ours, we work on both opponents.”

(On the impact Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase has had on the offense)
“First of all, he’s an outstanding assistant. At the end of the day, these aren’t one-man shows. Your staff is a critical part of winning in this league. I’ve obviously known Adam, he’s not new to me by any stretch. He’s a bright, young coach. He’s a tireless worker and I think he’s done a tremendous job.”

(On Gase getting interest from other teams and if he was worried he wasn’t going to be able to bring him to Chicago with him)
“It’s like everything, whether it’s position players or staff members, both downstairs and upstairs. This league is about finding the best human talent you can and then coaching them to be the best they can be every day. It’s competitive. I think it’s like that any time you’re trying to acquire quality people.”

(On how QB Jay Cutler is playing this year)
“I thought Jay has been great since I’ve gotten here. He’s been all in. He’s a smart guy. It’s important to him. From learning the playbook, to mastering the offense, to now communicating that, which the quarterback position that’s key. I missed him in Denver. He was gone right when I went there. I’ve never actually coached him before. But, he’s been a pleasure and I have great respect for how he goes about it. I think that’s represented by how he’s played on tape.”

(On some of the injury issues offensively)
“You go through the league, it seems like every year it seems to be more and more injuries. I’m not sure the reason for that. You look around the league, I think everybody’s had issues with it and we’re no different.”

(On if it’s the nature of the quarterback position to be a lightning rod for criticism)
“I think they’ve said that about both head coaches and quarterbacks forever. The game has changed no doubt, but that element of it I don’t think has changed much.”

(On the biggest challenges he sees with the Rams)
“They’re solid in all three phases. I think they’re able to run the ball. They’re able to stop the run. They’ve done a good job on third down on defense. The kicking game, they’re very multiple. They do things that you have to prepare for and make an opponent prepare for. That’s what (Head Coach) Jeff’s (Fisher) always pretty much been about and I think he’s continued that there with the Rams.”

(On how RB Jeremy Langford has done replacing Matt Forte in the backfield)
“He just had the one shot this last week, Monday night versus the Chargers. But, we’ve had him here since the offseason, so we had confidence in him going into the game. He responded kind of like we expected him to. I thought he executed all parts of his job pretty well.”

(On what WR Alshon Jeffery brings to the offense now that he’s healthy)
“We had the disappointing news on our first round pick (WR) Kevin White. He hasn’t gotten a chance to play for us yet. Then we had Alshon out for multiple games. Our guys battled and we stayed in it. Now since he’s been back, I think he’s had three 100-yard plus games in a row. Big target. He’s got a big catch radius and he’s very competitive.”

(On what has been the key to getting the job done on the defensive side of the ball)
“I think our guys understand the concept of team defense. I think (Defensive Coordinator) Vic Fangio and the defensive staff have done an outstanding job of selling that and then believing it. We’ve had some good production out of guys, we’refairly useful. Like I said, it’s still half way through the race, a new scheme to them, but they’re all in as far as learning it and executing it.”

(On how DL Ziggy Hood has done in a backup role)
“We just got him a couple of weeks ago, so he’s working very hard. Obviously, he’s produced at this level going different places. He’s kind of learning our defense. He’s fitting in well.”

(On what he sees from RB Todd Gurley and what the key is to stopping him)
“Like any position, everybody’s got to execute their responsibility. As far as him in ability, he’s done it at a very high level for some time in college. He’s continued that there since he’s been healthy. In my mind, he’s as good as any back in the league.”

(On if Cutler is the guy he expected him to be when he got to Chicago)
“You never know what to expect. You hear stuff; you file it. I’ve always been of the belief of I don’t like to make pre-judgments until I get a chance to meet somebody in person. He’s been outstanding. Like I said, I’ve got the utmost respect for him in really all areas of NFL players. He’s been outstanding for us. We’re only eight games into it, but I see that continuing moving forward.”

(On Bears fans being at the game and how much that can help on the road)
“With I’m being new, I’m only eight games into it here too. We’ve got great fans and I’ve noticed it both in the baseball world and in the hockey world and it’s no different in football. I would say our fans travel pretty good here. Monday night here in San Diego there was probably 25,000-30,000 of our fans. One thing I have noticed on our road games is that we’ve got great support. I think our players appreciate it. I know we as coaches do too.”

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler – Conference Call – 11/11/15

(On what it’s been like working with Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase this season)
“It’s been good. He’s got an extensive background, worked with a lot of good coaches throughout his career. He’s brought a dynamic offense, multiple. I think he’s done a great job of using all the weapons we have and keeping defenses off balance.”

(On if Gase has changed his game or approach in any way)
“I mean, he’s added some stuff in working with (Broncos QB) Peyton (Manning) from that time in Denver. He has a lot of experience with him and brought some things over that Peyton’s done. He worked with Mike Martz. I also worked with Mike and Josh McDaniels when he was at Denver. So, we’ve got an array of different offenses, kind of pieced together. It seems to be working for us. Now, it’s not where we want to be, but we’re gaining some speed.”

(On what this season has been like due to injuries)
“You kind of have to see who’s going to be ready to go on Saturday and then kind of maybe adjust the game plan a little bit. But, the guys that’ve stepped in have done a great job for us. Like you said, we’ve had a lot of injuries on the outside, the line, the running back and the next guy steps in has done a fabulous job. So, hopefully we can get everyone back at full strength at some point.”

(On how RB Jeremy Langford has done in the backfield)
“He’s doing a good job. We knew that going into the game. There was no concern there. He’s a smart guy. He’s tough. He’s got good burst. He’s got great hands coming out of the backfield. A lot like (RB) Matt (Forte). He’s not at the confidence and experience Matt does, but he should be around for a while and be a good player in this league.”

(On how he feels about the way he’s played this season)
“I mean, it’s good and bad. You don’t want to make mistakes as much as you can. I think everyone is still growing in this offense. We’re still learning. I really enjoy working with (Offensive Coordinator) Adam (Gase) and (Quarterbacks Coach) Dowell (Loggains) and (Wide Receivers Coach) Mike Groh and (Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu) ‘Mags’ and all the guys on offense. So, as a group, we’re getting there. Individually, you just want to keep getting better each week.”

(On if he reached out to other players in the league when he got a new head coach and coordinator so he knew what to expect)
“I mean, (Head Coach) John Fox, you’ve been around long enough, you kind of know what kind of coach he is. You know what you’re going to get out of him. Great leader, tells you how it is. I think he’s been wonderful for the team. His message each and every week, has been on point. He’s got a lot of respect in the locker room. We got lucky that we landed him.”

(On the biggest challenge the Rams defense presents)
“I mean, their up-front guys. It’s hard to find that much talent on one defense. They somehow managed to do it. Their number two’s could start with quite a few teams around the league. So, that’s where you start. They show you a lot of different pressures, but then they’re able to rush four and still get pressure. Linebackers fly around the field. Secondary’s got a lot of talent – athletic group. So, from the top down, they present a lot of problems.”

(On if having a lot of Bears fans in the stands helps his team playing on the road)
“It’s kind of standard for us. Monday night, we were in San Diego and kind of one whole side of the stadium was Bears fans. (Chargers QB) Philip (Rivers) was in silent cadence in the gun. So, it’s nothing new for us. We have a lot of support, and we always appreciate it.”

(On how he’s dealt with criticism throughout his career)
“I mean, I don’t get too involved with that. I worry about the guys in the locker room and the coaches in the building.”

(On how having WR Alshon Jeffery back healthy helps the offense)
“Well, he’s our go-to guy. We want to feature him. We want to try to get him the ball as much as possible. They’ve been playing a lot more (cover) two. We’ve seen a lot of that this year. So, they’ll put a safety over the top of him a little bit, try to take him away. We just have to find different ways to get him the ball, so he can become a play maker for us.”

(On what parts of his game he feels he’s improved on this season)
“I mean, it’s a new offense. But, we’re all learning at the same speed. Adam’s done a great job of putting me and the other quarterbacks in good positions on third and long, second and long. Each week, just trying to get better.”

(On coming off of a big win with RB Matt Forte and a few of their other key players out)
“Yeah, we’ve dealt with injuries all year long. The Rams have dealt with injuries, too. Everyone gets injuries at some point in their season. It’s just a matter of the next guy stepping up and doing his job.”