Wade Phillips talks Bears offense, Dante Fowler’s progress + Aaron Donald

Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips Thursday Press Conference

(Opening remarks)

"All right, Chicago – (WR Allen) Robinson (II), (WR Taylor) Gabriel, (WR Anthony) Miller – the wide receivers. (Trey) Burton's a tight end. The tackles are (Bobby) Massie and (Charles) Leno (Jr.). Guards are (Bryan) Witzmann and (James) Daniels. The center is (Cody) Whitehair. Quarterback's (Mitchell) Trubisky and backup quarterback's Chase Daniels. Running backs are (Jordan) Howard and (Tarik) Cohen. So, got that cleared. They've got some good personnel on offense. I think (Bears Head Coach) Matt Nagy's done a great job with them. These young, innovative, offensive people are making me get gray hair, I think, almost. But anyway, they've got good personnel, but they do a good job with them. Their offensive line has done a good job with run and pass. The two backs, Howard is a power guy, but he can bounce outside and make plays. Then, Cohen is the elusive guy that's going to – he can catch the ball out of the backfield and run with it, especially wide running plays. Burton's a tight end that played against us last year, for Philadelphia (Eagles) did a good job. Then, the receivers, Gabriel's the speed guy, but the other two guys are really good route runners. So, that's what they have and they've got a good offense."

(On how CB Aqib Talib looked in his return last week)

"Yeah, (CB) Aqib (Talib) did a good job. We had him on a pitch count. He played the first half, they had three points the first half, so he was part of that. But, I thought he moved around nice. We're expecting probably more from him this week – more plays I'm talking about. As long as he's ready to go, we're going to let him play."

(On how Talib affected his teammates on the field)

"Well, like I say, he's not necessarily the only guy that caused the only three points the first half. But, he's also part of a cohesive unit, he's a good communicator and he helps when he's out there."

(On if he plans for Trubisky to play)

"Yeah, we do. I think, obviously, he's a good, young quarterback that can really throw the ball, but he's also athletic. He's got 396 yards rushing, so he gives you a double threat – not only being able to throw the ball well and move the ball. They scored 25, 26 points a game when he's been in there. He's a threat. He helps their running game because he runs with it, but he also, obviously, helps the passing game because he can move around and make plays or just throw it. He throws a lot of downfield balls and they've got some good receivers. They throw a lot of balls downfield. They're not just a dink and dunk team, similar to Kansas City (Chiefs), which is what you'd expect. But I think personnel-wise, they're similar too. They've got good personnel."

(On if OLB Dante Fowler Jr. is adding a dynamic that the Rams' defense didn't have before)

"Yeah, I think everybody can see it – he's an outside rush threat and more of a threat than what we had. I think that's shown up. He made a big play that helped win the game – knocked the ball out. He's had what, three or four sacks already? He gives you an opportunity to not only rush on third down, but on first and second down some – that presence outside rusher, so that's helped. Now, in here last week, I did say – just to preface everything – I did say, '(DT) Aaron Donald is a good player.' So, all of you remember that."

(On if he has anything beyond 'wow' to say about Donald after the win against the Detroit Lions)

"He's a special player, everybody knows it, everybody sees it. It's us making sure that he can get into a position to be able to get one-on-one some. Everybody's turning towards him every play, so we've got to take advantage of that defensively and he still wins. I think he's playing the best he's played. The last several games, I think he's played as good as he's played, as I've ever seen him play and I've only been with him two years. He's obviously the Defensive Player of the Year and well deserving. Some people are talking MVP."

(On how difficult it is to get Donald in one-on-one situations with the way teams are blocking him)

"Well, we try to take advantage of that. You noticed (LB) Cory Littleton's had a couple of sacks, that's because they're going towards Aaron and now we rush him and he gets some sacks. It's those kinds of things, if we can anticipate their doing certain things towards Aaron and overloading that way, we can overload the other way basically – simple way to do it. That's what you try to do. Even when they overload towards him, they still have problems with him, so that's a real plus for us."

(On if he wasn't coaching, would he get excited at all to see Donald and Bears OLB Khalil Mack on the same field)

"Yeah, I'd be cheering for the Rams and booing the Chicago Bears, but other than that, as a fan (laughs) – yeah, it's great to play against great players. Both sides, it's great to have them – first of all, you'd rather have them. But, (Bears OLB) Khalil Mack's a special player, too, and a great player. It's always neat in this league to be able to play against the great players. I'm talking about, I'm a fan so to speak, especially of another player on another team. So, I have great admiration for what guys do and how they do it. Certainly, Khalil Mack is a force on the field. But, I'm not pulling for him (laughs)."

(On only two defensive players ever winning MVP in a long time and if he thinks a defensive player could win MVP this year)

"Yeah, they're not going to give it to a defensive player, in my opinion. Quarterbacks are always the guy that – and probably well deserved – they cause a lot of points. It's harder on defense to say, 'Hey, man, he stopped him from scoring how many times or how many points he's accounted for.' But, he's actually accounted for a lot of points because he's stopped drives or he's caused fumbles – all those things. But, you don't see that in the defensive player stats and so forth, so I think it's always going to be an offensive player pretty much. I think the only chance that any player would have and Aaron would have would be to set the all-time record for sacks or something like that. We're glad we have him and whether he gets the MVP or (RB) Todd Gurley (II) gets it, we really don't care."

(On if Donald is the case for opening the conversation to being most valuable)

"I don't know. I don't know that they're going to change that. I'm not the one that does it. I think it's you guys (laughs). But, neither here nor there, he's a great player and we're glad we have him."

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