1 BEARS HEAD COACH MARC TRESTMAN On the play of QB David Fales: He got bounced around pretty good tonight. He got back up and made some throws. He hung in there tough. It was a good effort today. On moving forward with WR Santonio Holmes: We talked about that after the game. We saw him take a short pitch and make it into a long play, a long gain. We saw some of the explosions that we ve seen during practice. He still needs to know what we re doing, but we ll see where we go, and hopefully, we ll bring him along. Moving forward, if that s the direction that we go. He also did a good job on the punt returns so there is some value there that we will have to consider. On if Holmes will make the final roster: We are going to take a good hard look at our team and put our final 53 and 46 together and see what he can do best to help us win game one. If he s going to be with us, that s what we are going to look at to try and put together our best group receiving wise. On the evaluation process to determine the final roster: I don t really evaluate the preseason by the games. I evaluate our training camp. We had an excellent training camp, a highly competitive training camp. When the ones were against the ones, it was extremely competitive and we see talent all around us. I think we have a team that has gotten closer together, or we don t really know. We really haven t been the Chicago Bears that will play next Sunday. We know that we re coming together and we ll know a lot more over the next week On if decisions for playing time at safety and on special teams have been made: We have a lot to answer, but at this point, I think we ve got a good idea. We are going to talk a lot about if over the weekend, make some decisions, put the 53 together and decide who the 46 are going to be and we ll start from there. Like I said, I think that we are in a pretty good place right now. The guys are confident. We know we ve got talent in our locker room and we need to play well on Sunday and do everything we can to get that done. On the play of the field goal team: I ll have to talk to (assistant head coach/special teams coordinator) Joe (DeCamillis) about that. I don t think the snaps were perfect tonight at times. I didn t see all of them, but I saw a couple of them. We ll talk more about it and see where we are. On using Holmes as a punt returner: We saw the punt return, and he obviously did a good job with that. We were just talking about that and how we are going to use him. We re going to spend some more time talking about it. How far is he at learning the offense? Is he really ready to play enough plays to help us in that regard? Can he catch our punts? It look like he can so we ll have that discussion and try to put it all together over the weekend and get us moving forward to Monday and practice. On why several key rookies didn t play tonight:
2 We went with what was in the best interest of the team tonight, who did we need to play tonight and see. Obviously, all the young players need to work and get out and play, but we made the decision that we thought was best, taking everything into consideration. That s why we came out the way we did tonight. On whether it meant that any rookie who didn t play has made the team: I don t know if I can answer that. I d have to think about that when you say everybody. I d have to think about it on an individual basis. On WR/KR Michael Spurlock s role in the return game: He will be heavily involved in the decision certainly as a return man. We ve got a guy like Michael who we feel good about and where he is at. We took a look at the other guys and although we didn t get as much as we d like, we did get a little bit of a look at some alternatives as well. On moving forward this weekend: We ll meet over the weekend. We ve got the players coming in for a lift tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. and we ll be meeting with personnel with the staff. We ll get together with (General Manager) Phil (Emery) and try to finalize our roster for the year. On different approaches to the fourth game, including it being tough with ones playing against twos: I don t know that it is tough. It is a great opportunity to see some guys play against the ones and see them put effort, fundamentals and technique together. I am going to be excited to take a look at it. We were reasonably competitive in the first quarter on both sides. They had a long drive, and we moved the ball a little bit. When we look at the tape, it will be a good opportunity for guys to match up against the talent that they brought to the game. BEARS PLAYERS DE DAVID BASS On assessing his own preseason performance: I just tried to go out there and play my game. When I talked to my family and friends, I said, No matter what happens, I m going to go out there, play the best I can and put it in God s hands. Whatever happens, happens, and I m just going to take it and run with it. On if this preseason was similar to his experience in Oakland last year: It s the same, there s competition. They bring 90 guys in to earn their spot and make the 53- man roster, then they keep a few guys on the practice squad. Hopefully throughout training camp, the offseason, OTAs and minicamp, you prove to the coaches that you belong on this team at the end of the preseason. On if he prepared differently for this game: No, it s the same. The coaches came up with a game plan. We watched film and looked at their depth chart to try and find out who we were going against to figure out their players strengths
3 and weaknesses. We came out here and tried to execute. It s the same thing week in and week out. WR JOSH BELLAMY On his performance tonight: I feel like I played a pretty good game. We all played a good game today. On what he was looking to accomplish: We were just looking to come out and play and just see how we can do without (WR) Brandon (Marshall) and (WR) Alshon (Jeffery) and the chemistry that we can have together. On what the next 24 hours will be like: I m just going to do what I always do: just chill, relax. Whatever happens, happens. On competing for a roster spot: You know, those guys are older and they have more playing experience than I have. I take parts of their game and we all take parts of each other game. We try to learn from each other the best that we can. On if there is a special chemistry on the field with QB David Fales: Yeah, we ve practiced since camp and OTA s so I ve been going with him a lot. It s been good. We ve looked for the chemistry all of the time that we ve been here. QB DAVID FALES On his performance: I thought I did a pretty good job, personally. I also think that we all worked pretty well together with all of the guys we had out there. On whether he thought the first half went better than the second half: We were put in some different situations in the second half. They were playing a lot of good players in the first half so were against some good matchups. But overall, I think we did a good job. On playing against the Browns starting defense: I think we were all very confident. We had some experienced players out there in our group too, so we were really confident in what we were doing. On making the roster: I m just doing as well as I can day-by-day, rather than trying to make the roster. We will see what decisions are made tomorrow and in the future. On the interception by DB Robert Nelson: I have to work on throwing the ball better to give the receiver a better chance to catch it. I threw it behind him on that play, so that was my mistake.
4 WR SANTONIO HOLMES On his touchdown catch: It was a slant route. I felt the coverage of the defender and he was playing a little over the top. I made a couple good plays afterwards and finished the play off. On finally getting back on the field after injury: First off, I have to thank God for the opportunity to play football again, for (Head Coach Marc) Trestman believing in me, and for (Wide Receivers) Coach Groh for giving me the opportunity to make this team. The chances were limited, but as a veteran receiver, you make the plays with the opportunities that are put in front of you. On what he saw on his punt return: It was a designed return. I just know as a punt returner and as a veteran and for doing it for so long, if you get good blocking from the guys in front and hit the hole really fast, you are able to do what you do. On being a good fit to make this team: We will leave that up to Trestman to make that decision and hopefully continue to be where I am right now. RB JORDAN LYNCH On his performance tonight: I made the most of my opportunities. I got a lot of reps on special teams and that s something new to me. That was the second time I got reps on special teams in the preseason and I thought I did well. I came in the fourth quarter and ran the ball, and I think I picked up a first down or two. I thought ran pretty well. On his mentality leading into final roster cuts: I m not sure, I m new to this process. I m just going to embrace it. I m happy that I m lucky enough to be in the NFL and the Bears gave me a chance. Hopefully they stick with me. On if he feels like he has done enough to make the team: It s up to the coaches. I let my play talk for itself. I went out there every day and gave 100 percent in practice. Obviously, my reps were limited in game time, but I thought I made the most of it every time I came out. On potentially making the practice squad: Whatever helps the Chicago Bears win games. You have to start somewhere. I kind of see it as getting redshirted in college. Being a competitor, you always want to get out there and do well. I ve learned patience through this whole process, and I just hope I make the team any way I can. WR CHRIS WILLIAMS
5 On what the next 24 hours will be like: I m just going to relax, take some time, soak it up and try to get better. Review the film and see what I did wrong, see what I did right. Just try to get better. On if he has any indication of staying with the team: I m sure that will come this weekend. On how frustrating it was having to sit out for a few games: Definitely frustrating. Those things that are out of your control, you just kind of have to roll with the punches. I m happy now that I m healthy and able to know that I got to play. On the second return he had and finding the hole: Yeah, we were close. It s the little things that I have to work on personally, but we were definitely close. On the fact that it s been more than 10 years since he s had a win as a head coach: Yeah. Thanks. That s some pretty good research that you did there I think would have been the last time. On how he feels about tonight: I m thrilled because I think kind of the checklist we had going into tonight, we accomplished. We wanted to first and foremost stay healthy, but we wanted to come out and play well. I know that they rested a lot of their guys, but when we talked to (our players), we still wanted to have success. It didn t matter what they were doing. It was about us. We needed to play to our standards and really keep them nameless and faceless. I just think we accomplished a lot of things tonight. We had some good chemistry on offense and we moved the ball. Defensively, we were much more like us than we were last week. We played well again on (special) teams and ended up getting the victory. I just think a lot of hard work went into it. I know the first one a lot of times is the hardest one. I just think it was a good reward for the guys who put in all this work through the preseason to have the night go the way that it went. On why he thought QB Brian Hoyer and the first team offense looked so much sharper: I just think (it came from) getting repetitions, chemistry, playing with each other. They had a good week of practice. We backed off a little bit. We weren t in pads. Just timing and being there with the same group and having that consistency I thought Brian was sharp. I thought he made good decisions and he threw the ball well. I just think his eyes got real big when he kind of whipped his head around on the corner route to (TE Jordan) Cameron, and he knew as soon as he threw it that he over threw it. Other than that, I thought he was real solid. On the contrast of his quarterbacks being on display tonight and if he likes the fact that they re so different: I do because it s worked in this system before where (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) has had drop back passers and then a talent like RG3 (Robert Griffin III). I think it s a very similar situation where he can bounce back and forth between the two styles and play to the strengths of the guy that he has in there.
6 On how he assesses QB Johnny Manziel tonight because it looked like he missed some throws but he made some plays: He did. He did. I think he had a couple of drops too, so I don t think his numbers ended up what they maybe should have been. That s who he is. Somebody said on the sideline, There s Johnny being Johnny. There was one play where it was no, no, no, yes, yes, yes that was just typical of his playmaking ability. He had a guy open early and didn t get it to him and ended up making a play with his feet and finding I think it was (WR Nate) Burleson for the completion. I thought he did some good things and played to his strengths. The one thing he does well is he slides well. I think when you run the zone read with him, he can get a chunk of yardage and then get down. I think that s important. A lot of quarterbacks don t know how to slide and it s obvious that he does. On if he thinks RB Isaiah Crowell can sneak onto the practice squad: Those are all decisions that I just met with (General Manager) Ray (Farmer). We kind of set our timetable for watching the tape and getting with the coaches and kind of getting this thing finalized. That running back spot will be a difficult thing. He certainly flashed his big play ability. He s a bigger back. He ran a couple guys over. At the same time, ran away from some guys. That was stuff that he s shown in practice, and it was good to have it show up in a game. On if Burleson came through OK and how good it was to see him get out on the field: It was good. It was good to see him. He came out of it fine. I think he just had the one catch real nice job getting it and getting north and south with it and getting down and giving us a first and goal. It s good for Nate because he needed to get out there. He needed to play. On how important he thinks this win was to set up the practice week for Pittsburgh and if it would have been a lot different if they had gone 0-4: I don t think so. I just think from a mentality standpoint, it is a good thing because the guys worked so hard and deserved it. We re all competitors. It s something that I think momentum is a big part of the league whether it was against their backups or whatever it is. Momentum is important and I think our guys will head into next week with a very different mindset just looking back. If it hadn t gone our way tonight, I think it would have been a bit of a shadow cast over us. On heading into the week of practice after winning tonight and if it would be different if they would have went 0-4 in the preseason: I don t think so. I just think, from a mentality standpoint, it is a good thing because the guys worked so hard and deserved it. We re all competitors, and I think momentum is a big part of the league, whether it was against their back-ups or whatever it is. Momentum is important, and I think our guys will head into next week with a very different mindset. Just looking back, if it hadn t gone our way tonight I think it would have been a bit of a shadow cast over us. On how difficult the suspension of Browns WR Josh Gordon is as the process lingered on and how he will set up the receivers now knowing that Gordon will not be able to play: It was difficult, but we move forward. How it played out was not ideal circumstances for us, obviously, but that s behind us. Our full focus now is getting this team ready. You can t worry about guys you don t have. It was good to see some of those young guys step up, and if we have
7 to be receiver by committee I ve said this all along, you don t replace a Josh Gordon, a top-five NFL receiver, with just one player. I think you have to get creative with what you do, and roll some different guys in there, maybe change some personnel groupings and get some different matchups. That s the challenge that we face. On who will start at wide receiver against the Steelers: I think (WR Andrew) Hawkins will be out there. I m just not sure which grouping it ll be. If we re in a two-wide receiver grouping it very likely could be (Browns WR Miles) Austin and Hawkins. Hawkins, everyone thinks of him as an ideal slot, but I think even in some of the twowide receiver groupings that you can still use him. On if he challenged the team after Gordon was suspended: We addressed it, but it wasn t necessarily a challenge. I just think everybody kind of knew the day was coming. I think the players did a good job kind of compartmentalizing things and not letting it become a distraction. I think that showed up tonight. Josh is a Cleveland Brown. We care about him. We want what s best for him, but at the same time we need to move forward and prepare for the season. On Browns DB Justin Gilbert responding tonight after Saturday s game against the Rams: He has the one play that I think he would want to take back is when (Bears WR Santonio) Holmes caught the slant on him and then pivoted back out. That s just a good lesson for him to learn. He had safety help inside and could have played it with outside leverage. Other than that, I think you take that play away I thought he was pretty solid, made some plays down the field, competed much more tonight, better look in his eye. I thought it was a good night for him, and we re looking forward to him playing a significant role for us in the opener. On if Gordon s suspension is fair: The rules are the rules. The league has a system that they set up. It was collectively bargained. We respect it. While how it played out I already mentioned was not ideal for us, we respect the job that the league has to do. Moving forward, we want what s best for Josh, and we want what s best for the Cleveland Browns. On if there is a chance that Gordon will be let go: Josh is a Cleveland Brown. On if Browns QB Johnny Manziel made a stronger case tonight to play against the Steelers in the first game of the season: It s something we ll discuss. I don t know if that s necessarily something just because of tonight. We ll have discussions on how we want to game plan and how we want to use those guys. I think one of the reasons that Brian and the first team did look better tonight is because we didn t mix the reps and he got all the reps with the No. 1 s. A big part of tonight was getting those guys playing together and getting that cohesion. On Browns QB Rex Grossman s play in the fourth quarter and if they threw more downfield with him in the game:
8 Throughout the game, we had called for some deeper plays. You see that he still has the arm. He doesn t look like if you said, Draw me a quarterback. I don t think you d draw Rex Grossman, but he can still make all the throws. He can plant his back foot in the ground, and he can still sling it. It was good to see him get out there and make some plays and get some production. BROWNS PLAYERS WR NATE BURLESON On his 27-yard reception: I give credit to (QB) Johnny (Manziel). I did the easy part. I just ran a route, and once I saw him scramble a little bit, the benefit of having a quarterback like that is that it makes it easier on you when plays break down. I just wanted to stay alert. You get to be a little bit vet-savvy after playing so many years. You understand where guys are going to go when situations like that happen, and (the) defense starts to panic when a guy with fast legs is running around with a ball. I just stayed calm and knew that he was going to come to me. For some reason, I had a good feeling he was going to hit me. I give all the credit to him. On how much confidence the offense gained tonight: I think we gained a lot. We ve had some ups and down throughout the preseason, but like I said to you guys before, that is what the preseason if for. There wasn t any panic in me. There wasn t any panic in this team. With (Head Coach) Mike (Pettine) (and) (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan), we know what we can do. You have four games so you can work out the kinks. I m not saying we ve got everything totally figured out, but definitely improved and worked out the kinks from these last few weeks. DB JUSTIN GILBERT On if he is getting a taste of what life will be like playing opposite of DB Joe Haden: Yeah, most definitely. I think it s going to be a lot busier when he gets back. I ve just got to prepare myself for that. On how he takes coaching from the veterans defensive players and how he can learn from it heading into the regular season: I just soak it all in, not getting emotional about anything that s being thrown my way. Any information that is being told to me is something positive, most of the time. I m just trying to take in the moment. On how valuable it has been the last few weeks getting the extra time on the field: I think it really gave me a better feel getting ready to go up against these guys in Pittsburgh. Just getting out there, getting a feel for the game being in the NFL and really just playing football. On if he feels that he is ready for the season opener against Pittsburgh: Most definitely, yes. QB BRIAN HOYER
9 On the touchdown drive: It was great. All week, we talked about each player focusing on their individual job and coming collectively together as an offensive unit and taking it one play at a time. In the huddle, I said, Let s just go out regardless of who they re playing out there. It s all about us. I think if we can have that mentality and do that, we ll be just fine. On if there was a sense of relief on the touchdown drive: No, I wouldn t call it a relief. I think it s what we expect out of ourselves. Obviously, that s a good thing to go down there 85 yards and punch it in. I wish I wouldn t have rushed my throw to (TE) Jordan (Cameron) so quickly, but he was so open it almost freaked me out. It was good to get a conversion on fourth down then have (RB) Ben Tate run it in and jump into the Dawg Pound. It s great to go out there, do it and build on it. I wouldn t say it s a relief or anything. I don t think we were stressing out. We all knew what we are capable of. On if his receivers are undersized: We want to look at receivers as being big tall guys, but little quick fast guys work too. I have confidence in all those guys and you can see what they are capable of. The next man has to step up and that s where we are at, and I m confident in all those guys to get the job done. On his miss to Cameron: I came out of the fake and he was open so quick. I thought God, I have to get him the ball. Going left, you just have to get your hips around and I just rushed the throw. I could have taken an extra two steps and instead of putting a loft on it, I could have put it on a line. I was disappointed in myself but at least we made up for it and got in the end zone. On the team being healthy and looking less bleak: I never thought it looked bleak. I think the most frustrating part about the previous few games was we would move the ball like we wanted, and then we would have a penalty or I would miss a read or whatever it was. To have everyone doing their job, not worrying about other people and focusing on the individual job, I think that is just the mentality we have to take every week. On welcoming QB Johnny Manziel to the offense: If it helps us win, that s what it s about. This league is all about winning. So whatever we can do, put him in and if it s a package that helps us win the game, then I m all for it. I think as a quarterback, you have to be the ultimate team player. It s kind of a unique position because there is only one of you out there. I think most people judge quarterbacks on wins and losses, not any other stats. I think, for me, I m all about doing what it takes to help the Cleveland Browns win. On if ending the preseason on a positive note is a good thing: No doubt. Coach Pettine always talks about it, but they are keeping score and whether it s the first preseason game or the fourth, it s always good to go out, have some success and win. We go into this long week getting prepared for Pittsburgh with a good taste in our mouth, and just take that and build on it. OL ALEX MACK
10 On how the rookies played today: The rookies did a real good job. That s what the preseason game is all about, getting those people who don t get as many looks in there. I think they performed really well. On how RB Isaiah Crowell played today: He did a good job. He broke a couple good runs. What you want to see is decisive, hitting the hole, and running fast. He did a good job. I don t really know his stats, but I understand they re good. On what you wanted to achieve before the regular season: What we really wanted from this last preseason game was just to go out, get some live reps and get a good drive going. Touchdown or not, I don t think that was the big important thing. I think it was important to get a couple first downs, get moving, get used to running plays, and run full speed. So, it s not a huge jump, not a huge couple weeks from our last preseason game to our first game. On going three for three on first downs: Being good on third downs is definitely an important fact of a good offense. Staying on the field is what really extends drives, helps out the defense, and gets you into a scoring position. Those are really important stats. On heading into Pittsburgh: The roster is going to be set. We re going to have a full game-plan week. We ll devote the whole week to just learning Pittsburgh stuff. Coming off of the preseason, knowing this is the offense we have, I think we did a good job displaying some good plays tonight. We ll kind of roll that in to Pittsburgh. QB JOHNNY MANZIEL On the play to WR Nate Burleson: For me, it was just to make a play. I m just trying to go through my progressions and I didn t really see a lot. Then I had to make a play to try and move the ball down the field. I think Nate did a great job of hooking up and finding a spot for me to get him the ball. He kept the drive alive. On feeling like he improved this week: I learned a lot from some little things that I did better. Today was a big step for me and stuff that I will never get wrong again. I was able to see it, go through it and process it. Then I was decisive with it, and I knew what I needed to do with it. I feel like I take a big step once I watch the film and see everything to review it. On what are some of those improvements: Just certain little calls within the offense that we do on certain plays that we go through during the walk through and I see and then I kind of hesitate on them for a second. Then when I get into the game, I see that I just have to trust it. I m
11 getting better on little calls that can help everybody throughout the offense. I ve also been able to be more decisive on reads. I think this film will help me to get better a lot. On taking us through the 27-yard play to Burleson: I think we were having a long drive, probably a nine-or 13-play drive so it kind of gets lost in the jumble. But I know that just going through my progressions that the clock in my head was running out and I needed to get out of there. Luckily, I got a good edge to get out and around to find Nate. I think it was a great job by him abandoning his route to get open, and he really made it a great play. On playing similar to how he played in college: I feel (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) did some more things out of the pistol and the zone read to see how it would feel tonight. I feel like there were some things that I missed, some things that I didn t do well and some things that I did alright at. Taking that all for what it s worth and just moving forward. On whether his completion percentage is important: As soon as I walked in here, before even looking at the stats, I could tell you that I didn t complete as many pass attempts that I wanted to. I don t think I threw the ball particularly well today. I felt it came out of my hand a little funny with those first few throws and as the drives went on I felt like I threw it better. I mean you have days like that where the ball feels a little different in your hand. I didn t feel like I threw it particularly well and I wish that I had some throws back, but I feel like I went to the right place a few times and I think I just needed to man-up and make the throw in order to give them a better ball. I was definitely a little upset on the field tonight, but I could definitely tell.