The Washington Redskins on Sunday play the Chicago Bears in Week 16 action at Soldier Field in Chicago.
On Wednesday, Chicago Bears head coach John Fox and quarterback Matt Barkley spoke to the Washington, D.C., media about their upcoming matchup against the Redskins.
Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox
On the Redskins offense:
"Yeah, no doubt, they're definitely, you know, Kirk's [Cousins] playing well. It starts up front. I think they do a
perfect job in protection as well as run blocking. There's plenty of weapons sprinkled all the way through… running back wise, tight ends, wide-outs. And then ball possession as well as big play potential. So, I don't think you're in the top 5 in offense in this league at this point in the NFL season without having all those ingredients and the Redskins definitely have them all."
On how to focus on the Redskins offense with so many offensive weapons:
"Well they do spread the ball around. I think they play well, so it's more of a system. They have reads, progressions, as I mentioned before, they kind of hit you at all levels… whether it's quick gain, depth ability, their intermediate routes as well as play action, big play potential. I think that makes them difficult to defend. Part of the thing is keeping them on the bench. And I think people have had success in being able to do that. Obviously takeaways are critical. But you really looking to slow them down I'm not sure you can totally stop them."
On how Redskins TE Jordan Reed's injury changes the Redskins offense:
"Well I mean with Vernon [Davis] and 89 [Derek Carrier], they're going to do the same things. They're not going to change their offense. Obviously, I'm sure they're disappointed in that Reed's been nursing that injury. But, I think their system is going to be their system at this point. They're not going to change that. I don't know that—obviously you miss when you have one of your star players out but those other guys have filled in and really kept the production out of the tight-end position pretty up to speed. So they've got other guys. They have depth which is part of the reason they're having success, in particularly, on the offensive side."
On the key to defending the deep ball against the Redskins:
"Well I think you know again and kind of must to victory, especially on the defensive side, explosive plays whether it's in the running or the pass can cause issues. And I think you go a week and give up a 61-yard run and a 60-yard pass. So, obviously that's something that our defensive staff, myself included, has talked to our players about. And again, every week they bring new challenges and that's something we have to improve at ourselves."
On the Redskins defense:
"It's all about the fun. They have a shutdown corner in [Josh] Norman. I think their safety position is experienced. They've been able to be multiple as far as different ways to put pressure on the quarterback. But all-in-all, that's something we'll have to be ready for it. And like every game it's about execution."
On the status of CB Kyle Fuller:
"Well we've got, he's on the possible return list and we'll evaluate him one more day. And we have to have that executed by three o'clock tomorrow."
On getting Fuller back on the field to play his brother Redskins CB Kendall Fuller:
"Yeah I'm not sure it's going to be too much about his family, who's playing or not. It'll be purely whether or not he's physically ready to play or not."
On getting team ready on a short week:
"You just have to adjust. I mean that's what you do. You adjust whether it's injuries, schedules, off-season, in-season, losses, wins, so, you deal with it. As I told our team today, the Redskins have a shorter week then we do. So, we're both operating on short weeks. Bottom line is having them focused and prepared so they can execute well on Saturday."
Chicago Bears QB Matt Barkley
On the challenges of going up against the Redskins defense:
"Yeah obviously Josh Norman stands out and [Ryan] Kerrigan as two high level athletes on the edge and with a lot of ball skills and awareness for where the ball is going so we kind of have them highlighted and I have them
highlighted in my head but overall just a pretty sound group of guys and it'll be interesting to see what the linebacker situation is as we move forward with this week and see who*is playing cause that might change things up for us." *
On the Bears comebacks coming up short:
"It is kind of funny to look at how the similarities between some of the endings of the last couple weeks and I'm not too sure exactly why we're always seem to be in a hole sometimes and finishing close but it does show me that this team does have fight and there is no ifs, we're not giving up and it does. I think there is a correlation between scoring points and when we do move tempo, when we push tempo with the offense in the no-huddle type of situation to where we're kind of pressed for time and we gotta move the ball fast so we're just getting it out, getting calls out and that seems to be the theme."
On what changes during a short week of preparation:
"Ah… really it's easier for us than Washington this week, I mean we really missed one day but today is still a normal day for us like it would be on a normal Wednesday so we still get all of the reps in, still get everything. It's just those two… that one more day of recovery from the week before you don't have so you just gotta make sure you're on top of taking care of your body, working out any kinks you might have from the week before but I think for the most part everyone felt good. We were flying around today and it shouldn't be that much of a- difference for us come Saturday."
On the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins:
"Yeah, yeah, I've known Kirk since college and he's a competitor, no doubt about it. He's a gun slinger who lets it rip and you know he's got a lot of talent around him on that offense and he seems to be making the most of it with how much they throw it downfield and utilize big play opportunities. He's done a really good job, I think, of sticking to what he knows best and who he is as a quarterback and he's making plays."* *
On what defenses can do against an offense without balance:
"Yeah, it's often tough as an offense because having an equal influence of the run and pass, cause; it puts the defense at odds at how to approach you. So, when the game becomes one directional it often is hard especially as a quarterback knowing that they are expecting pass and you have to be careful with the ball, protect it at times, I've been in that situation before where it seemed like every down was a passing down and the defense knew it and you still got to be sound with your reads, sound with your eyes and your footwork to make sure you're still able to move the football forward."* *
On his progress through the year after starting late in the season:
"So far I think been alright, progressing from week-to-week. I think I've done a really good job of just understanding the offense and getting a better grip of terminology and the little things that it's hard to pick up when you're a backup so getting every rep helps with understanding the offense and understanding what Dowell [Loggains] our offensive coordinator is thinking and so we've been on the same page for quite some time now but I really want to clean up some of the timing with receivers in my line and making sure that the calls are getting out and we're more efficient moving the ball to where we're not you know I'm not stopping drives or getting short in the end zone."