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What the 49ers and Bears Had to Say Ahead of Season Opener

The San Francisco 49ers are set to face the Chicago Bears in Week 1 at Soldier Field on Sunday morning. Here's what both teams had to say ahead of the season opener:

Niners Liners

Kyle Shanahan on facing a team with a new head coach and new offensive and defensive coordinators:

"There's always an unknown. You've got an idea, (Bears head coach) Matt (Eberflus) being in this league and being a D-coordinator for a while. But it's always unknown how they're going to match it up with their players. They have the same stuff with us, even though we've been here, it's always a new season. You really never know until Week 1, and you see how that evolves throughout the year. I think the hardest thing for all coaches at the beginning of the year is how much we have to look at preseason tape and last year's tape. And it gets really aggravating for coaches, because it really doesn't get to this year's tape until like Week 6 or 7. And you hope it gets there as fast as it can."

Shanahan on if he gets first-game jitters:

"When it starts, that's the easiest thing. The game is usually the most relaxing. It's intense. There's no doubt about it, but you're comfortable in it because you're doing something. I think building up to a game's always the hardest, there's a lot of stuff to go through. Which is good when you're practicing and focusing on that, besides that you're just like, I want to stop going through stuff. Let's just get to kickoff. And once you do kick off, then it all kind of goes away and you're clear and you just compete." 

Shanahan on upgrading the special teams unit:

"I think we added some players that I think will help there, there's no doubt about that. Just getting some guys like getting Oren Burks, getting George Odum, those are guys who have had a lot of success this year. And I also think the guys in front of them for the most part, it was tough with Jimmie Ward, but being able to stay healthy and allowing those guys to stay in special teams roles is, to me, the biggest deal. That's where we struggled a lot last year and it's kind of a trickle-down effect." 

Shanahan on who will start at safety alongside Talanoa Hufanga:

"We've got a few choices. We'll decide that Sunday, like right after kickoff."

Shanahan on Trey Lance's confidence level for Week 1:

"Yeah, Trey is in as good a spot as I've been around him. He's confident, had a good camp, got as many reps as he has ever gotten before. Has been thrown in a ton of tough situations, some good situations and now it's time to go play."

DeMeco Ryans on creating unity on the team's defense:

"Yeah, our guys have done a great job throughout all these practices. Guys have been together at practice. They all haven't been together in a game, but they've done it on a day-to-day basis in practice. And they've done a good job of communicating. You have a veteran guy there in Fred who does a great job of running the show for our defense. Multiple guys who have played for us, guys will be out there, so it won't be too many new guys, but the communication, I'm not too overly concerned about the communication, because I feel like our guys have done it all throughout training camp really well. So that's one thing that I know Fred prides himself on is making sure all the guys are on the same page, so he's done an excellent job of that." 

Ryans on competing against Bears rookies on the offensive line:

"With the young guys, again, guys just have to go out and play. Guys rise to the occasion all the time and you never know about the rookies until they actually get in games and they have to go out and get game reps. So, what are we expecting from those guys? Who knows? We expect those guys, they're NFL-talented players who can play, so we're expecting their best and they'll get our best." 

Ryans on defensive lineman Nick Bosa:

"Bosa is the same and that's what makes a great player. You're always consistent. He's never too high, never too down. He's consistent each and every day and that's what allows him to play at a high level. And the game, nothing's too big for Bosa, so he doesn't have to change who he is just because it's game week. He'll continue to make plays and dominate just by being Bosa." 

Ryans on Bears quarterback Justin Fields:

"Fields, I mean he's a tremendous athlete. He got out on us last year a lot, made a lot of big time plays, big time runs that normal quarterbacks can't make. The guy is very athletic, he can run all over the place. So, we have to, as we rush and as we play our coverages, we have to be very aware of that. Because of the type of athlete that he is, the speed that he has he can get out on you and make you pay, so we just have to be conscious of that and be disciplined in everything that we're doing." 

Chris Foerster on tackle Mike McGlinchey:

"He looks the best he's looked. Knock on wood that he holds in there. He fought through the rough injury coming back in the Green Bay game, got about eight plays in, and now he's really done a nice job, man. These last few days, he's looked like the Mike that we've all hoped he would look like. That's been encouraging. And again, same thing, he's got to string some games together here, and I hope that he goes out on Sunday and has a really nice outing." 

Foerster on the development of Aaron Banks:

"Aaron's development has been good. He's worked really hard. He's maintained his physical conditioning. He trains really hard. He works really hard."

Trey Lance on the Bears defense:

"Yeah, real sound. They all play together, play very hard. Real talented defense. Some guys, just looking at the depth chart, the names that pop up that have been playing the game at a really high level for a long time. So, real talented defense and a few young guys, especially in the secondary, who are talented players." 

Lance on entering Week 1 as the starting quarterback:

"I'm excited. I mean, real similar to I guess the weeks that I did start last year from a preparation standpoint... But yeah, it's been awesome."

Lance on working with the offensive line:

"Yeah, it's been awesome. I've said it throughout the preseason, the way those guys have come to work every single day, especially Spencer Burford and all the young guys. But having Aaron Banks and getting Jaylon Moore back, all those guys have done a great job. And it's tough for them, mixing and matching guys throughout the preseason and training camp and losing Daniel Brunskill, hopefully we get him back soon, but I mean getting Mike McGlinchey back, those guys help each other out so much. I hear them communicating before plays, after plays, during plays sometimes. So they do a great job and (offensive line/run game coordinator Chris Foerster) C-Fo does a great job with those guys as well."

Fred Warner on playing against Fields:

"Justin's very talented... that's the thing that he's got to his advantage, the ability to make a play when they need it. When you have 4.4 speed and can pick up your yards with your feet or extend plays, that's a big thing that we've got to be on top of."

Kyle Juszczyk on playing against the Bears defense:

"They look solid. They've got a lot of really good players over there, like Robert Quinn who had over 18 sacks last year, Roquan Smith really can fly around and make plays around the entire field. We feel like they have a really strong secondary all across the board too so we're not taking anybody lightly."

Juszczyk on his excitement for Week 1:

"It's extremely refreshing. I'm a big fan of getting into a game plan just because things become more specified more detailed and I've had enough of running into Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair. Now I get to run into some guys with a different jersey.

Trent Williams on what he expects of the rookies on the offensive line:

"Of course they made some big strides throughout the preseason but Sunday is a big test, so none of that really matters. We'll see after Week 1... I've got all the faith in the world for those guys. I mean, they're here for a reason, everybody has to start off at some point, right? This is the opportunity and I expect them to seize it."

Williams on how the offense is preparing for the Bears:

"We know what's coming and we've got a chance to really hone-in on a specific group of plays for the week."

Robbie Gould on the 49ers new special teams unit:

"We've got some really good core guys. Odum, that guy's a stud with his waggle going down the field. Malik Turner, the guy has just got some awesome speed that can help us and play physical. We're seeing a lot of guys that have been here in the past playing faster like Hufanga and Juszczyk is playing faster on punt which is pretty cool to see and all of that translates into offense and defense."

Bears Quotes

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus on the team's preparations to face the 49ers:

"We're excited about the week, we're excited about getting going, we're excited about the competition that's coming into town... It's gonna be obviously a good test for our football team going forward, we know they've been a very good football team for a few years now and so it's going to be exciting for us."

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy on preparing for Nick Bosa:

"Anytime you play someone to the caliber as Mr. Bosa presents for you, you've got to have a plan regardless of who your left or right tackles are. You've got to make sure you have a plan because he's someone that can change the game and you've got to do your best to make sure that you minimize that as much as you can... Nick – he's a real deal."

Defensive back Jaylon Johnson on the challenges that the 49ers offense brings:

"Lance has limited film, but I really just try to find certain tendencies, there's not too much you can do. I just try to go and find old tape from Kyle Shanahan because he's the one that's gonna be calling the plays. So just trying to find some tendencies from his standpoint and then really just go out there and make adjustments on the field."

Wide receiver Darnell Mooney on the Bears mindset for Week 1:

"We're ready to open this thing up and get it rolling. Get everybody off our back and let them know that we're coming."

Quarterback Justin Fields on the 49ers defense:

"They have a good defense. Of course their front four are pretty good, they have good D-linemen, great backers and they're a vision-break defense so they play off and soft and then they swarm to the football when it's caught underneath, so they do a good job with that."

Fields on his mindset going into Week 1:

"It's not about the 49ers this week. It's about us. How we play, how we execute. I'm just playing for my teammates, playing for my coaches and going out there and executing to the best of my ability."

Fields on what he thinks of Lance:

"I think he's a good quarterback, athletic. He's my guy so yea, he's a good person for sure."

Linebacker Roquan Smith on his preparations for Lance:

"I definitely think there's unknown because there's not a lot of tape out there on him besides the preseason and one or two games he started last year. I think it's going to be good."

Smith on how the Bears plan to stop San Francisco's offense:

"It's going to start with stopping the run. When stopping the run, you can make a team one-dimensional and that's gonna obviously open up the air for a lot more things and when you can do that it'll put us in a lot better position."

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