Here are some highlights from the press conference announcing the Bears had signed defensive ends Julius Peppers, running backs Chester Taylor and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna.
General manager Jerry Angelo on why Taylor was signed:
"We just brought chester in because we wanted to bring in another quality back. It had nothing to do with any pecking order. The players always determine that as well as the coaches."
Lovie on the impact of the three signings:
"We talked about improving our pass rush. We've done that. The production from our running back position, it's easy to say we've done that as far as improvement is concerned and Brandon will give us a new dimension at the tight end position. It's a good day. These were the three guys we really identified that we wanted if we could get them and we were able to get that accomplished."
Lovie didn't not say whether Peppers would play right or left end. He likes the fact that he can switch back and forth, sometimes even during the same game.
Lovie on how Peppers will impact the rest of the defensive line and the defense in general:
"For our defense to be successful you have to be able to get pressure up front with four-man rush first and then of course we can blitz when we want to blitz. Being able to generate pressure from the front four is huge.
"Julius will help all our players. He'll help Tommie Harris and the rest of our inside players and our other defensive ends and make it better for our coverage."
Angelo on whether the Bears will remain active in free agency by signing perhaps a safety:
"Let's just say this: We've done a lot today and we're not trying to field a 22-man all-pro team if that's what you're asking but we will continue to pursue what we consider to be our needs and we have a draft coming up as well."
Angelo on whether the Bears can trade up to receive a second-round pick:
"We'll look at everything. I don't really foresee that. Those picks are really valued, particularly in the top half of the second round. Do I foresee that happening? No. But anytime there's an option, just like in free agency, we pursue our options. We have a pretty good track record of how we built our football team doing it from every angle and every venue you can do it through."
Peppers on coming to Chicago:
"Coming to the place with the deep-rooted tradition of winning is a great thing for me, a wonderful thing, and I'm happy to be here. It's one thing to play football in this league and make a living but it's a totally different thing to come to a place with a rich tradition and football culture like the Bears. That makes it a whole [different] experience."
More from Peppers:
"Coaching is something I wanted to come here for. Coach Smith is a defensive-minded coach. Coach Marinelli is regarded as league circles as one of the best defensive-line coaches in the league, so the opportunity to work with those two guys were a big factors in my decision-making to come here. Also, playing on a team with great tradition on defense as this team was intriguing also. I'm looking forward to hopefully adding to that legacy and making a great contribution."
Peppers on whether he would like to play right end or left end:
"I don't feel more comfortable at any spot. Left side, right side, it really doesn't matter. Some guys prefer one side over the other. For me, either side is fine."
Taylor on whether he needs to be the lead back:
"In a Mike Martz offense I saw how Marshall Faulk was used and I just want to come in and play that role and any way I can help my team is what I'm going to do."
Taylor on Peppers:
"He's a great player. I'm glad I'm on his team and I don't have to be chip blocking him. He had a great game against us and I'm looking forward to him doing that in every game for us this year."
Peppers on his Lovie's trip to see him in Charlotte:
"It meant a lot. When I found out he came down, when I heard about that it showed me he really wanted me and the interest was mutual. That was a big deal. It meant a lot to me."
Peppers on Brian Urlacher:
"[Urlacher] has always been one of the best players in the league since I've been in the league. I've always admired his game from afar. To have the opportunity to play with him, I jumped at the opportunity."
Taylor on quarterback Jay Cutler:
"I believe he's a tough quarterback, the type of quarterback who won't go down and will fight for the extra yards. He's a great competitor. I see a little Brett Favre in him."
The best answer of the press conference was from the soft-spoken Manumaleuna when he was asked if tight ends really do get ignored in offensive coordinator Mike Martz's system. His answer:
"Sometimes," he said, drawing laughter, although probably not from Greg Olsen. He quickly recovered. "When I was in St. Louis you have to understand the people who were outside of me. It wasn't that I was being ignored but they had two Pro Bowl receivers and a Pro Bowl running back coming out of the backfield. I wouldn't say it was a lack of using the tight ends, more so having other hall of fame players."
Read Saturday's Sun-Times for full coverage. Hayes is writing a column about what Peppers means for the Bears while Jensen is writing about how Taylor and Manumaleuna will impact the running game.