Q&A: What Dan Quinn had to say on Wednesday 

Opening statement:
“Good to see everybody. I can definitely tell it’s the regular season. Today, I’ll fill you in a little bit injury-wise. We’re in good shape on that front. The guy who won’t participate today is Brian Hill. He’s still dealing with an ankle injury, and he’ll likely be out as we’re going through the next couple days. He’s definitely out today, and I’ll give you an update on that tomorrow. Past that, we’re in pretty good shape from an injury standpoint. We have a real process that we go through to get ready. That part begins with us today on Competition Wednesday and all the things we do on this day to help us get ready. We started the preparation earlier on Chicago, but today fully. As you go back through and look at the tape, both lines of scrimmage stand out. Both teams have good offensive lines and square defensive lines that can play. That part is definitely at hand. For us today, the game plan is fully in order and health-wise we are in good shape. I’m glad to open it up to your questions.”

On how the Bears will utilize Mike Glennon on offense:
“The play action is one of the things that he does very well. They have a good run game so that makes sense in terms of how they would want to feature him. They’re not outside the pocket with the keepers as much as they’ve shown maybe with other quarterbacks. That part of the game is really alive and also the quickness that he can get the ball out with. We saw that through the preseason with two guys. The quickness of getting the ball out is what we saw.”

On how nice it feels to play a regular-season game:
“The regular season comment was because it’s nice to have so many of you here. I don’t know if it was the free lunch that was offered from Brian Cearns (of public relations staff). There was a certain energy as you walked into the building. The process begins for us and even a new outlook in the team meetings to get going. This is the group with new seat changes and a new view of where we’re headed. For me, personally, now going through it the third time, I feel more comfortable also going through that process and learning what I had in year one. I learned quite a bit in year two, and that jump should happen again. For me, understanding the process was key. The weekend was the hardest one for me as the cuts happened and finding those spots. We had a pretty good sense between Thomas Dimitroff and myself of who would be some ones we could bring back on the practice squad. We were happy that we were able to get a number of the guys that we had targeted back. At the same time, for guys who got claimed or guys on another practice squad, I’m pumped for them too because they put the time in here. If it’s not going to happen here, I would like them to get an opportunity elsewhere.”

On how the Bears feature Leonard Floyd and how to matchup against him:
“Like most times, they’ll put him into different spots. In nickel, he plays more on the right side. He’s been a featured player in that way. Past him, Willie Young is a good player and Pernell McPhee is a good player. The inside guys, especially in nickel, have done a good job too. They’re really square, strong and stout especially in the run game. Their linebackers play square to the line of scrimmage and are good tacklers. When I look at their defensive side, I think of a real fundamentalist group with no easy yards. It’s going to have to be earned. The run game on both sides is going to be a real factor in this game.”

On whether the game plan changes in preparing for talented offensive and defensive linemen:
“That’s what we’re planning for. You really plan it on the style, but the player will also study that player that they’re competing against. What individual techniques may a player use? In other words, how does their left tackle try to grab? How does their left guard play things? When they pull, do they give anything away? Each week, the studying kind of goes deeper and deeper as you get through Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Once you get into Saturday, that preparation part is over. Now, it’s your intent of how you’re going to play. You don’t necessarily have a different style. You don’t play a different front if a team is more suited in one way. We really stay consistent to what we do.”

On Takk McKinley’s role in Sunday’s game:
“We really see him being featured in our nickel package first and more at right end than left. We like the nickel groups that we play with featuring Adrian Clayborn, Takk, Brooks Reed, Vic Beasley, Derrick Shelby, and inside with Dontari Poe, Grady Jarrett, Jack Crawford, and Courtney Upshaw. We’re going to attack in a big way at the defensive line and he’s a big part of that. We love the style that he’s playing with. We’re anxious to get him into the rotation and into the group. He’ll have a role on special teams as well to help out. We’re pumped to get him rolling and get his start. The same goes for Duke Riley to get his start going and Damontae Kazee. There’s a couple guys that are getting their first action so to speak in the regular season. They’re really excited.”

On any specific message he will give to McKinley:
“I haven’t given him an individual one yet but by the end of the week it will be what we do. For him, that’s run and hit. That’s exactly the style that he plays with. We make sure we let each other know how our style is played. It’ll be a really physical game and he’s a really physical player. We’re pumped to get started with him.”

On whether he anticipates facing two quarterbacks on Sunday:
“It’s a fair question and I get where you’re headed. When there are two guys and competition, will they play them both? We’ll prepare as if we’ll see two. That’s John Fox’s decision on who’s playing. Is there a role or a package? Sometimes that happens with first-year quarterbacks. He’s mobile and can certainly get out of the pocket. You can see why the pick was there with the talent and all that. Offensively, it’s not like a whole new system takes place when another quarterback comes in, especially the game plan because you’re really featuring this play for this team. You generally don’t see wholesale changes for the plan, but you are aware of certain guys, their styles, and how they play.”

On what he has observed about the Bears’ pass defense:
“They’ve even added some guys in the secondary. I think it’s the technique that they play with. When they play a 3-4 front, they’re more committed to the pass. They play some of the inside guys as two-gap run players. The teams that play 3-4 aren’t playing eight-man fronts where you’re down and aggressive toward the line. They’re devoting another player into coverage. They’ve done an excellent job. You can see the communication that takes place all along the board. We certainly have respect for Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell on the defensive side of things with the way they do it. Having long-time coaches, I’m not surprised that their units are playing well.”

On Chicago’s running game and the challenges it presents:
“There are some similarities to what they do with what we do in the run game. I think they’re best in the zone scheme. They have a big volume of runs. We talked about Jordan Howard being a strong runner where he gets yards after contact. For us and our tackling, it’s got to be on point to make sure the four-yard run doesn’t become a seven-yard run where it gets extended on plays. That’s part of the challenges that we spoke about today. I don’t know if that’s different if they were playing us versus playing anybody else, but they’re committed to the run game. They’ve had explosive runs all last year almost to the same number that we had. There are definitely similarities in both run games.”

On his level of confidence defensively this year versus last year:
“I knew going into last year there would probably be some pains because there would be some things that hadn’t happened yet within the scheme to learn. Growing pains happen. I felt it was going to be really important to make sure we stuck with them and said we’re going to learn from it and keep growing. I think that group generally is going to take a big step going from year one to year two. I think the guys going from two to three will. It’s another year in the system and another offseason. That first offseason as a young player or a rookie, the offseason, OTA’s, and training camp just happen. Then, all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Alright, what’s my role here? What do I do?’ Now, they’re more aware of formations, sets, and alerts. I think just the experience makes a big difference. Even though they’re only going into their second year, a number of them played 800, 900 or 1,000 snaps last year.”

On whether he expects the most improvement to come on defense:
“I think it goes from guys one to two and guys two to three. I’m not saying the guys who are older don’t improve. That certainly happens, but they’re more marginal ones where I can get there to there and it’s harder to get to the next ceiling. For the guys who are going from one to two, I think their jumps can be pretty significant. We saw that with a couple players last year. Certainly on the defense, I thought Vic Beasley was one of those and Grady Jarrett was. I’m expecting those kind of improvements from Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, De’Vondre Campbell and Brian Poole is another one that we count on in that way. The same thing goes for Austin Hooper on the offensive side. I think after year one in the system to year two, both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman made a big jump. I’m hopeful that those guys are going to stay on that same pattern and keep the improvement going.”

On whether he and the team pay any attention to talk about last year’s Super Bowl:
“I think it’s more for the fans. Honestly, I don’t get too far down that line in terms of those kind of things. For me, I worry about our team. When we came back, I knew there were going to be questions. ‘Okay, how much more work do we have to do to talk about last year?’ I got my answer pretty early in training camp when I saw us go for it in the biggest way. Past that, in terms of the fan side of things, I love our fans. For them to get pissed about it is cool with me.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X