Current Chicago Bears players got to meet team legends in the recent Bears100 Celebration convention last weekend. The legends dished out advice and inspired the younger players.
The Chicago Bears recently hosted their Bears100 Celebration convention. Team and fans alike got to celebrate the 100th season in franchise history. The public got to see relics from the storied history of the franchise and hear stories about some of the greatest times.
Current and former players attended the convention. Some of the Bears’ biggest legends told their stories and lent some of their experiences to the younger players. Today’s players want to get back to the franchise’s heyday so they soaked up all the words they received. They want to reach the levels that the legends attained.
Here is what inspired some of today’s players:
Jim McMahon, also known as the Punky QB, was a force of nature in Chicago. He walked to the beat of his own drum. He wasn’t the greatest quarterback in Chicago Bears history, but he was the most colorful and exciting. There was never a dull moment with him around.
McMahon spoke about what earning the Bears fans‘ love does for a player, via ChicagoBears.com.
This town has always been a Bear town. It’s always going to be a Bear town. This is a hard-working town and these fans appreciate hard-working players. They know who plays hard and who doesn’t. If you play hard for Chicago, they’ll love you. And if you play hard and win, they’ll love you forever.
Mitch Trubisky is the team leader now. He took McMahon’s words and follows them, per the Chicago Tribune.
Bear Goggles On Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Bear Goggles On Long Sleeve T-Shirt
I think the two things in Chicago are that you just have to play with a lot of confidence. And then you have to have thick skin. You just have to continue to give it your all, improve your game and put your heart into this and into practices. Love the fans, wins games and they’ll love you back.
Trubisky already knows about having thick skin. Despite looking like he has a good head on his shoulder, he’s taken a lot of criticism ever since the Bears moved up one spot and gave up draft assets to grab him in the 2017 NFL Draft. Many so-called experts said he wasn’t a franchise quarterback.
MORE FROM NFL SPIN ZONE
Arizona Cardinals making all the right kind of noise
NFC South: Ranking top 2019 storylines by team
Chicago Bears: Kicker situation threatens to spoil great expectations
Oakland Raiders: Hard Knocks an early gift for NFL fans
Cleveland Browns: 2019 will be Jarvis Landry’s last season with team
After a so-so rookie campaign with an offensively deficient coaching staff, those same people said Trubisky would hold the Bears back now that they had an offensive guru. General manager Ryan Pace overhauled the offense, adding better weapons around him. All Trubisky did was lead the Bears to a division title and, despite losing the playoff game, he had a good game and did what he needed to do at the end to win.
Trubisky also has plenty of confidence. He doesn’t care what the “experts” or his opponents say about him, he just continues to work and improve his game. He’ll be a fan-favorite just like McMahon, just not with all the theatrics. Even so, he said he might break out the headband this season, so some of McMahon might rub off on him.
The Chicago Bears have a rich history of having great linebackers. They are second to none when it comes to the NFL’s greatest linebackers. They can boast about having Bill George, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. When the Bears get a linebacker, he has some big shoes to fill.
The person trying to fill those shoes now is Roquan Smith. He was the Bears’ first-round pick (No. 8 overall) in last year’s draft. He made last year’s All-Rookie Team despite not having a training camp or preseason (he held out in a contract dispute). Having a complete offseason this year, the team expects a great deal from him in 2019.
Smith felt great when talking with two legends, the aforementioned Butkus and Otis Wilson, a star linebacker from the ’80s and a member of the Super Bowl XX winning team in 1985. Both Butkus and Wilson told Smith to play the way they did — violently. Wilson urged him to go after the quarterback and of course, Butkus wanted him to hit him hard when he got there.
Smith obviously can’t play as violently as Butkus and Wilson could in their day, but he could still put a hurting on quarterbacks. He has Chuck Pagano as his defensive coordinator now and that probably means a more aggressive defense than the one that took the field in 2018.
Safety Eddie Jackson‘s play has him among the best safeties in the league. Therefore, he was excited to be in the presence of Gary Fencik, Doug Plank, and Mike Brown, per ChicagoBears.com:
It was a blessing. It was a fun experience. Anytime you get to do that and meet guys that have been here before you and did the things they’ve done who now have gold jackets, it’s always a fun experience.
Leave it to Khalil Mack to tie everything together and say what the weekend meant to everyone, also via the team’s official website:
It’s all love, it’s all family. Ultimately, they have our best interests. Just little things, even off the field, seeing who we know that can help us with certain things, even down to massages and all different kinds of stuff. Just learning from them and hearing from them was huge.
NEXT: Grading each NFL team’s 2019 offseason
The weekend was a special one for the Chicago Bears and their fans. It gives an aura to this team, that something special is in the air. Hopefully, it extends throughout the season and we get to see Virginia McCaskey celebrate at Club Dub at the end of it.