Archive of Media Interviews – 2018

During the Bears 2018 season, we interviewed several members of the media covering the team on a daily basis. These are incorporated into our upcoming book release “Return to Respectability.”

Here are the complete audio interviews, with written excerpts. They were used as part of our radio show / podcast The Sports Report.

Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times on the Opening Game –Recorded September 10, 2018

Patrick Finley – Chicago Sun Times

“I think it’s safe to say that Matt Nagy was out coached as the game went on. For all of the magic of that first drive, (Green Bay Defensive Coordinator) Mike Pettine, made adjustments. Some of that is Matt Nagy coaching in his first game. He’ll get better the same way Mitch Trubisky is supposed to get better.

On Khalil Mack – “The last time I saw somebody dominate a half the way that he did was Brian Urlacher against the Cardinals way back when. He didn’t have the wind to make it through the rest of the game. Rogers getting hurt was probably the best thing to happened to their game plan. They said ‘the heck with it, we’re going to go three steps and get the ball out’, and that limited Khalil Mack.”

John Mullin from – Recorded 10/10/18

John Mullin – NBC Sports Chicago

Discussing the addition of Khalil Mack: “The interesting thing is the ripple effect. What a guy like Mack does is introduce an element like the team had back in 1985. Guys like Richard Dent would get a sack and everyone else said ‘I’m going to get mine now.’”

“The impact he’s had throughout the defense has made everyone else put their foot down even harder.  That gives them the chance to be great.”

“Mitchell Trubisky is 0-6 against the NFC North. At some point he has to start beating those guys. they’ve all stumbled, but they’ve gotten back up. One thing the Bears have been arguably is consistent, with the arrow going up.  After the Bears finish with the four game stretch with the AFC East.”

“What’s tailor made for (Tarik Cohen) he’s got offensive coaches going to him in more situations.    A guy who is good with the football in his hands. Give him to me. I’ll find a place for him.”

JJ Stankevitz of NBCSports Chicago on the Bears 3-3 –Recorded October 24th

J.J. Stankevitz – NBC Sports Chicago

“The expectations with this team should be higher, given what they did in the offseason, adding  Khalil Mack a week before the season. I think you feel encouraged about them. You feel like there a certain things they obviously need to be doing better, but right now they’re a competitive team that needs a few things to go their way to still make the playoffs, but they’ll be playing meaningful games in December.”

“The Bears, before they can really start thinking about this division being weak, they need to start beating teams in the division. They lost the first week to Green Bay. The stretch where they play Detroit – Minnesota – Detroit, that is going to be the critical stretch for this team, assuming they go out and beat the Jets and the Bills in the next two weeks. The Bears haven’t won in this division in a long time, and for them to really say we’re better than last place in this division, they’ve go to start taking care of those games first.”

“Teams knew they had to be aware of Tarik Cohen at all times. The Bears had no other weapons last year. Now you have Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton, or Allen Robinson, and Anthony Miller. That is allowing Tarik Cohen to have a lot of freedom in the offense. It’s giving Matt Nagy a lot of freedom to use Tarik in this way. Because even if a team does key on him, he can be a really good a decoy for the rest this offense.  And even if they do key on him, sometimes he beats the opposing defense. What Matt Nagy has done with Tarik Cohen has been a really good success for him so far.”

Dionne Miller, Sports Anchor,  ABC 7 Chicago –Recorded 11/8/18

Dionne Miller – ABC 7 TV Chicago

“This is going to be the true to test to see where they are at.  5-3 is exceeding expectations. I would say the grade is B plus, A-minus.  I think the last couple of weeks have been easier, but they have risen to the occasion. Now they’re getting healthier.  This next stretch of three games in twelve days is going to be huge. This means something to them. Matt Nagy sets a tone that they hear  listen and relate to in a different way than John Fox. Matt comes in with such a good energy and authenticity, that is legit, and they see it. And what he says works. He’s got their attention.  It’s exciting.”

“It’s fun. The way that they are winning, and how they are growing. How can you not be excited about that.  There are so many great angles to talk about.”

“Getting Khalil Mack back (from injury) is huge.  During that stretch, when people asked them how much they missed it bothered the other defensive players, they said we were good before we got Mack. We were considered a top ten defense.  We’re still those same guys. They really proved that over the last couple of weeks. Last week, getting interceptions all over the place. Leonard Floyd getting into the end zone, and Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson scoring. this is building confidence.”

Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune – Recorded December 10th

Dan Wiederer – Chicago Tribune

“First and foremost we’re seeing that anything is possible for the 2018 Bears. When you take an offense that is as high powered as the Rams. A team that was 11-1 coming into the night, and you dominate them for four quarters, it’s not otr of the question that this team could get hot and make a run through January, and suddenly start eyeing a  a run to the Super Bowl. This team knows what got them here. The way the defense has taken over, and once again gotten on a big stage in prime time and played the way they did shows you this is a fearless team. With great talent, great cohesion and more than anything great confidence to do what they need to do.”

“It’s a special thing to watch this defense play. We’d be remiss not to start with Vic Fangio, who has great respect from all his players, and understands how in this era of offense, how to take apart an opponent. Obviously, they did a wonderful job Sunday night against the Rams. Todd Gurley comes in as the league’s leading rusher. He leaves with 28 yards on 11 carries. That is a testament to the talent that the Bears put out on defense.  It’s a testament to their ability to subscribe to Fangio’s game plan. It’s a testament to Vic’s ability to see those things. So this defense is full of talent, and it’s very well coached, and that’s why they are 9-4 right now.”

Postseason thoughts from John Mullin of NBC Sports Chicago – Recorded January 14, 2019

John Mullin – NBC Sports Chicago

“For the first time, Ryan Pace felt the arrow was pointing up for the Bears. He was vindicated. His quarterback got better. His team got better. His coach looks like the right guy.”

“I think Chuck Pagano is going to be real motivated. Pagano would look good, because he’s inheriting so much talent. I think may be a more stable hire than bringing Adam Gaze was. There’s not a whole lot of worry that Pagano is going to be a one and done guy.”

“I won’t say he had to, but Mitch Trubisky made some strides this year. He became a more accurate guy, completing 59% of his passes in 2017. Then he goes up to more than 66% this year. They finally got him some weapons. He was running an NFL offense with bad receivers, and some accuracy questions. The major steps forward were taken.  You won’t see him get dramatically better, you’ll see him cut out the bad stuff. The bad overthrows or questionable decisions.”