Ryan Fitzpatrick on TD Pass to Cameron Brate, Harvard Connection

Sports Xchange

(On the challenge the Bears defense brings)

“Obviously there’s been a lot that’s been written up and talked about Khalil Mack and what he has added so far to that defense. He’s been awesome, but even before he was there, this is a talented group, especially up front with the problems they present. Statically, early on with the turnovers they’re creating in the big plays that they’re making on defense, they’re difficult on opposing quarterbacks and opposing offenses because of the pressure that they can create. I think they do a great job with their scheme and mixing things up. It’s a tough challenge every week, but this in particular will be a tough challenge for us.”

(On the offense’s struggle against Pittsburgh)

“There’s always a bunch of different things that go into a game and the reason that football is such a great sport because it is a team sport and there were some where I was holding on the ball too long. Maybe it was good coverage and I didn’t think I had anywhere to go. There was some communication stuff. There were some where they have good NFL players just like we do, so you can’t pinpoint it on one thing. I think more so that anything last week you’re able to realize how great our O-line played those first two weeks with staying as clean as I did. They played well I thought versus Pittsburgh as well but that just happens sometimes. Sometimes based on scheme, sometimes based on players, sometimes based on the quarterback holding the ball too long. Those are things that happen and physically I feel good. I didn’t get hit much in the preseason, didn’t get hit a ton in the first two games. It was kind of nice to get one of those games in there where you get hit around a little bit and feel like you’re part of the team and a football player.”

(On why he has had so much success)

“I think it’s been a combination of things. Each game has been a bit different. That first game we hit a lot of shots. It was a lot of yards on not a lot of completions. We just hit on a lot of stuff. The second game we had the two 75-yarders which always helps. And then this last game was more so falling behind by 20 [points] and then having to throw the ball over the yard in the second half. Each one’s been a bit different. It’s not something that happens all that much because you have to have a lot of things in three consecutive games to fall into place exactly like they did. It’s one of those things when I’m old and retired it will be cool to look back on, but right now it is what it is. It happened, it’s over – we’re moving on.”

(On if it’s a good or bad thing that they play 3-4 defense teams back-to-back)

“This team – even though you’d classify both of the teams as 3-4 teams, schematically it’s a little bit different. Really all four weeks now we’ve had four drastically different teams in terms of what they try to do on defense. I don’t know that there’s a ton of carry over. There’s some carry over, but not a ton of carry-over from last week. In general, from the first three games as a unit, between me and the running backs and the offensive line and the tight ends, the whole protection thing, we all have to be on the same page and speaking the same language – same communication. Whether it’s schematically the same thing or not, if you have issues you’re going to see other people try to expose those flaws and issues. So, you just continue to work and get better from each game moving forward. The thing I love about our unit and our offensive line coach is that they work. They’re tireless at is and they take a lot of pride in it.”