Say what you will about the preseason, but after getting beat down by the Cincinnati Bengals last week, the Bears sure did look good Thursday night against the Browns. The offense moved the football, and the defense looked aggressive. Will that carry over into the regular season? We'll know soon...
Here is what head coach John Fox had to say about the victory over the Browns:
"Just an update on the injury report - we had one player who left the game and did not return: Anthony Jefferson did something to his arm. We will further evaluate that and keep you posted."
On the play of David Fales-
"I thought he did good. I thought everyone we put out there tonight - I was proud of their performance and how they went about it. I think they executed our formula pretty good. And David was no different. He's a guy that got set back with some sickness early in camp, and didn't get a lot of reps. But he looked pretty sharp tonight."
On whether the Bears have the flexibility to keep 3 QBs on the roster-
"We've got a lot of hard work - it's never an easy time for any coach in the National Football League. You've got guys who have really worked hard, and sacrificed a lot of time and effort. I respect what they do. We've got tough decisions to make, and we'll have to work through that. We'll do everything in our power to pick the best 53 players."
On the importance of getting extra looks at Jordan Mills-
"I think it was important to get looks at everybody. Like I said, when you have to cut from 75 to 53 players, it's never easy. Just from a numbers standpoint, I think it was important that everyone got looks. It was no different with Mills."
On the trade for Khari Lee-
"His in-line blocking is pretty effective. We took some good looks at him. Our scouting department liked him. Our coaching staff looked at him. We didn't get a whole lot of looks tonight, but we had a few. He'll be in that mix as well."
On why Jonathan Bostic was in uniform but didn't play-
"We had a bunch of guys in uniform but didn't play. He was one of them. [laughter]"
On the play of Jeremy Langford-
"I've been pleased with the young guy. I think it's been well-documented that we like him. We did draft him. I think he's had a good camp, and he had another good performance tonight. I think Ka'Deem Carey ran it hard, and Quizz (Rodgers) ran it hard. Again, it's never a fun moment making decisions on what 53 to keep. I think all three of them ran the ball very effectively tonight, and have throughout camp."
On Lamarr Houston and Willie Young playing in the first quarter-
"I think it's important for guys to get ready for the regular season. They hadn't had a whole lot of playing time. Both are coming off of fairly serious injuries from a year ago. They are getting a better feel for our scheme and defense. All of those are important matters when you're getting ready for a regular season."
On the meaning of the preseason record to him-
"I honestly can't remember many of them. August is kind of my groundhog month because I've been doing this for 35 years. But, I think with a new staff, it's probably a little more critical because you are teaching new schemes. It's been 4 years, and 9 years before that since I was new. So you do try to take advantage of everything, because they are learning something new. They're going to be competing against guys who have been doing it for a minute in their respective schemes. This game is only fun when you win. When you're competitive, you compete with everything, including preseason."
On his biggest takeaway of his depth players-
"Again, it's a challenge in that fourth game. Your back-ups get a lot of time. I think guys made cases for themselves, which makes it harder on us. I think that's a good thing."
On what he likes about Zac Dysert-
"I thought he was a sharp, young player. He didn't get a lot of playtime in Denver, when I was there. But he is a guy that we think has a command of the offense. He knows it a little bit. Adam Gase is pretty familiar with him as well. We got him in there a little bit, and we'll have to evaluate that by Saturday."
On the progress of Willie Young at his new position-
"There's probably more crossover there than what people think, whether you're talking about Jared Allen or Willie. Again, the game is played probably 70% of the snaps in nickel anyway, so it's really a four down front. He's an explosive guy from what we saw from tape last year. Just getting him back confident and how that feels to push off from and to explode off of is just a normal transition for any player coming off an injury. I've been pleased with what we've seen."
On whether he considers seeing Jared Allen, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston playing comfortably as one of the preseason successes-
"They've worked hard. They've done everything we asked. They have managed themselves pretty well throughout. Now we get to start the real race, and we're looking forward to it."
On whether he is pleased with the overall progress during preseason-
"Yeah, I mean that's what we're out there for - to make progress and get better. We'll get to measure that in about 10 days."
On whether tonight's shutout means anything to the players-
"Yeah. I think football is football. They keep score for a reason."
On whether he has any updates on Alshon Jeffery-
"Ummmm....same thing I've been saying for a long time. From a competitive standpoint, we're going to say as little as we can, just because we really don't want to help our opponent. I think understanding that is important for everyone."