**What follows is Marc Trestman's press conference from today, Monday, Oct. 28. This is a rough transcript. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors.**
It's good to be back. I think we did a good thing by letting these guys rest. They came back with a lot of energy out here today. There was very little rust in terms of executing and getting through the practice. We did a lot of special-situation football — third down, first-down play-action passes, things like that. Overall, our focus these two days are simply on our football team. We'll take a break with the guys on Wednesday and continue to game plan for Green Bay. Our focus these two days has been simply going back and taking a look at some of the things we've done, that we can do better. And certainly there are a lot of things we can, you know that. And just working, working with Josh here today obviously as he steps in to do the whole practice.
HOW DID JOSH DO?
We executed very well today. And the ball was not on the ground. The guys caught everything. There was good focus. Didn't run a lot of plays — ran about 25-to-30 plays today. I thought it went very smoothly with him in there.
AFTER WHAT YOU LOOKED AT IN TERMS OF THE WEEKEND, HOW REALISTIC IS IT TO EXPECT SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT FROM YOUR DEFENSE?
I think that you win in all three phases. I think that's what, as you look at the games, there are teams that are hurting in different places throughout the league and they're find a way to play a complete game in there and they're creating momentum and winning. So I think the No. 1 way we can improve is by guys just paying attention to their job and not trying to make up for a younger guy or trying to do too much. If we can do that and we've got to play together, we're not three different units and three separate silos of a building. We really have to play together more than ever now. And I think that's something that we're capable of doing. But the No. 1 thing is just to know our assignments and do our job, that's the biggest thing you get coming out of the bye, is the more tape you watch, the more — and it's the way it is with most every team. If you'll do your job and continue to do it within the framework of the play called, you've got a chance to have success on that play.
WHO FILLS IN FOR LANCE?
No, we're working at it. Khaseem will certainly get a very good look here No. 1 and we've got Jerry and we've got Blake, and we just brought in Grant, but we'll start with Khaseem and we'll see how the week goes. We've got a long way to go before we get started. We've got another day of team work tomorrow.
WHO WILL MAKE CALLS ON DEFENSE, BOSTIC OR ANDERSON?
We're still working through that. It could be either guy. I think they are both capable of doing that. As we get closer, we get into the start of this thing … we've talked about both of them. They're certainly both capable of doing it and we'll see where that goes. We'll know a lot more about that on Thursday as we finalize the game plan.
ENCOURGAED JAY WATCHED PRACTICE?
I am encouraged by his sense for how he is improving. That is a positive sign. I think we have to stay within the framework that the doctors gave us. I think that is prudent right now. And we'll see where he is next week.
IS HE TRYING TO PUSH IT?
I think he is trying to get better as quickly as he can. I don't know that he is trying to push it. He wants to get back as soon as he can. That is all that I can really say. I think we've got to stay in line with what the doctors have said and if it's better than that we would certainly be happy about that.
HAVE TO TELL HIM TO BE CAUTIOUS?
He is not doing anything that the doctors wouldn't have him do. He's not overextending himself.
HOW IS TILLMAN'S KNEE?
He came back and worked. He worked out here in individual. He didn't practice today. He says he feels better. So, that is the only answer I can give you right now.
WON'T GET WORSE OR WHAT? DID IT JUST NOT GET BETTER?
I can't answer that question, I really can't. I'd like to be more specific with you. I am not trying to keep anything from you. He says he is doing better and we are hopeful he will be able to practice this week as we move into the end of the week.
WOULD YOU CONSIDER A CHANGE IN STARTING LINEUP AT SAFETY? HAVE THOSE CATS BEEN LETTING YOU DOWN?
I don't think that is the case. I think that our performance in all places isn't where we need it to be but I haven't considered anything like that.
SO NO CHANCE FOR STELTZ TO START THIS WEEK?
I would say we are going with the guys we have at the present time and that would be obviously Major and Chris.
ANYMORE ADDED EMPHASIS TO RUNNING GAME WITH QB OUT AND GIVE DEFENSE A BREAK?
We know we've got to control the football and time of possession, we've got to make sure when we flip the field that we make it a long field. That is what we try to do every week. We feel like we're getting our yards per gain is good. But it's the middle of the game runs, the second-down runs, and that is a focus offensively. Our focus is third-and-medium and doing a better job of becoming more consistent with each and every run and that is certainly part of what we looked at last week and part of what we're going to work on as we move forward.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET JORDAN PALMER READY TO GO?
Without practice I think he is in a very good spot right now. He has retained quite a bit. He's got a good feel for what we are doing. I believe he could go in there and manage the game reasonably well at this point in time based on where he is today. He's not going to get the reps this week obviously. He's got to be ready to go. That's what veterans do. He'll work after practice and do the things he needs to do to be ready just like Josh did throughout the year.
FEEL ANY DIFFERENT WITH JAY OUT, LANCE OUT AND PACKERS ON DECK?
I try to compartmentalize everything. I think last week there were a few days going through it thinking we didn't have them with us and we weren't going to have them with us for the immediate stretch. But the focus after that was simply on us and reviewing our season. I spent a lot of time with the coaches over the last three days identifying areas that we've got to really work on and work together on. It's not just the defense or the offense or the special teams but how we can collectively put together the game plan that can help us go move forward and that means next week into Green Bay although not specifically Green Bay. But it doesn't feel any different from the standpoint of today trying to get better as a football team, no.
HAVE A DEEPER PERSPECTIVE OF THOSE AREAS NOW?
I think we do. We've spent a lot of time on it and focus on it. We're not that far. We're doing a lot of things really well, special teams-wise, offensively and we've done a lot of things well defensively. We're still at the top of the league in turnovers and the games we've won we've created a lot of turnovers and they've come a lot of different ways. And we're doing a lot of good things offensively as well. The biggest thing we need to do is collectively, as we look at it, just do our jobs better. Be more specific. I am talking in all phases. If we do that … and that is pretty common. But it's really true when you look at it it is more about what we do than what teams are doing to us.
ADDITIONAL QUOTES FROM 10/28
YOU'RE THE OLD VETERAN NOW WITH ALL THE EXPERIENCE OF HAVING STARTED ONE GAME SO U CAN HELP KHASEEM, RIGHT?
I don't know about "all the experience," but really he's had the same help I've had since I've been here. Lance and James, D.J., those guys have been helping us since Day One, even before we got here, once they called our names they shot us texts and basically said ‘we're here for you,' so we just have to keep working.
GIVE US A SCOUTING REPORT ON KHASEEM
Tell you the truth, we're actually real similar as players. The main thing is to get comfortable.
SO YOU'RE SAYING HE'S REAL GOOD, RIGHT?
He's a guy that's been doing everything, being behind Lance he learned a lot of things, but there are still a lot of things you have to learn, as well as me.
YOU PLAYED A LOT WITH ONES IN PRESEASON, HE'S PLAYED ONE SNAP IN THE REG. SEASON, HOW TOUGH IS THE ADJUSTMENT?
Really it's not an adjustment because he's going against good players every day in practice, we do a lot of ones on ones, so he's getting a chance in practice to go against Brandon Marshall and Martellus. He's going to have guys that he's going to go against every day that he's going to see on Sunday pretty much.
WILL KHASEEM BE LOOKING TO YOU? READY FOR THAT?
We're going to depend on each other, we're going to have to help each other. We have to do a lot of talking out there, get our chemistry back, what we had throughout preseason. It'll definitely be a fun process, just got to keep going out there and having fun.
WHAT DID YOUR FILM LOOK LIKE FROM FIRST GAME?
A long way to go. Not one particular area I need the most help in. It's just going to be my all-around game, just keep improving, my all-around game every day.
ANY PLAY YOU ESPECIALLY REGRET?
Everything. There's something on every play I can say could have made a difference in the ballgame.
LONG SAID IT HELPED THAT HIM AND MILLS COULD LEARN TOGETHER; SAME DEAL WITH YOU AND KHASEEM?
Yeah, it was definitely like that in preseason. When we both went out there we were both playing a lot and we were helping each other, basically just reminding each other, ‘Hey, remember this, remember that,' so we could play faster. It's all a growing process and you just have to keep getting better and just keep having fun.
HOW MUCH DIFFERENT DOING IT IN A REGULAR SEASON GAME?
I don't know how much different it will be. Obviously that was preseason, but I would think it'd be the same. We work on our chemistry now, making sure we're getting him back, going through everything again, basically how with certain people out how we're making different adjustments like who's going to be talking more in this situation, who's talking more in that situation. So it's really just getting everything back.
ON GETTING THE CALL TO COME BACK
"It's great. I feel really blessed to be in a position to be back here and join a great team, a team that has a lot of success on the horizon, unbelievable talent and in my career, the best coaching staff I've ever been around. It's humbling, but I'm very excited to come here and figure out a way to contribute."
ON HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE YOU TO CATCH UP TO THINGS
"I'm ready right now. I got here on Monday. Every morning I got here at 6:30. I left around 8 o'clock at night. I had a nice little foundation, even though I was only out here couple weeks. I've always hung my hat on the preparation stuff. So if I'm going to have confidence in any part of my game, it's going to be in how prepared I am to play and what I know more so than how fast I can run or far I can throw it. I feel like I'm ready to go. If my job to help Josh get ready to play in Green Bay? Great. If my job is come here and lead us to the playoffs, then I'm very, very confident in my ability to both those."
ON Josh McCown
"Oh, he's absolutely ready. He's a vet. People throw the term around, ‘This guy's a pro,' quite a bit, but he's a pro in every sense of the word. He's a guy who is prepared. Everybody in the locker room loves him. The whole line wants to block for him. The receivers want to make plays for him. The running backs want to get out on check downs and protect for him. He's a great guy to be in this position. He's just as confident as any starter is going to be. And I think the Washington game is just a testament to that. And he's only going to get better as he gets more reps."
IS THIS OFFENSE EASY FOR THE QUARTERBACK TO STEP RIGHT IN?
"I would say the coaching. Working with coach Cavanaugh, he's a great teacher. They do a really good job of understanding who their quarterbacks are, and what they need to prepare them with. I felt really confident playing in the preseason even though I was only here for a couple days. I feel really comfortable and confident going into Monday night should my number get called. I think it's the coaching philosophy, how they deliver the information that makes guys feel ready to play."
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.