The Chicago Bears will wrap up their season Sunday at Soldier Field with a go to from the NFC North-champion Minnesota Vikings. Believe it or not, each groups have a bit one thing to play for. The Vikings want a victory to solidify their playoff seeding. The Bears, in the meantime, may gain advantage from a loss, in place to money in a 3-14 file for the No. 1 choose in April’s draft if the Houston Texans can also beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. On Thursday afternoon at Halas Hall, all three Bears coordinators spoke with the media. Here are the highlights of what we heard.
1. Alan Williams has been impressed with how Bears gamers have expressed themselves and rallied round one another in mild of Damar Hamlin’s hospitalization.
Hamlin, a second-year Buffalo Bills cornerback, suffered cardiac arrest after making a routine sort out Monday night time. He needed to be revived and has been in vital however secure situation at a Cincinnati hospital. It was a terrifying episode that left members of the Bills and Bengals visibly shaken on the scene. And the emotional ripple impact for gamers and coaches across the league has been pronounced.
Williams stated Thursday that the continued conversations at Halas Hall have been helpful.
“Everyone processes troubling situations differently,” he stated. “So we gave our players a platform to talk through what they were feeling in meetings and individually with professionals and with people that don’t deal with that on a normal basis, meaning coaches. It was a tough few days, especially if you saw it live.”
The Bears have been again in follow mode Thursday at Halas Hall and have Sunday’s closing recreation to give attention to. And Williams has been heartened by the way in which the Bears have supported each other.
“You saw the way that players cared about each other; they talked to each other,” Williams stated. “Some of the older guys took the youthful guys below their wing such as you would anticipate. Talked to them, walked them by it.
“We have some people here that are professionals in that realm and you see how they just come in and the way they do their job with compassion, I just go, ‘Wow.’ ”
2. Richard Hightower was thrilled with the 63-yard kick return rookie Velus Jones broke off within the closing seconds of Sunday’s first half.
With a greenlight to attempt to hit an enormous one, Jones acquired Jack Fox’s kickoff 8 yards into the tip zone and got here out on a proper return with function. He picked up a crushing lead block from fellow rookie Trestan Ebner on the 15-yard line, discovered a crease and exploded for a 63-yard return that took the ball throughout midfield.
“He stemmed it really well,” Hightower stated. “And his blockers did an outstanding job of getting back to their landmarks, playing penalty-free on that play, stepping to contact and keeping their hands inside. It really timed up nicely. Did I think there was an opportunity for a bigger play there? I did.”
That supplied a teachable second for Jones, who acknowledged Monday that he ought to have “pressed” Fox a bit extra to create room for a potential landing return. Hightower expanded on that sentiment Thursday, explaining Jones had the chance to remain towards the center of the sector a beat or two longer as he gained floor on Fox earlier than steering out to the fitting sideline.
“It probably would have been six points,” Hightower stated.
Jones has had a turbulent rookie season disrupted by accidents and marred by fumbling points. He additionally has had solely 14 offensive touches for 140 yards. But he has proven big-play means as a kick returner and heads for the season finale averaging 29.2 yards per return, which ranks third within the NFL amongst gamers with at the least 15 returns.
“He’s definitely trending arrow-up in a really good direction,” Hightower stated. “And his blockers, I can tell you they enjoy blocking for him. It’s different when you have a guy back there who you know can go to the house.”
3. With Justin Fields’ 2022 season over, Luke Getsy is inspired by the place Fields is headed as a quarterback.
Fields has been dominated out of Sunday’s finale due to a hip pressure. Thus his second NFL season goes into the books with a 60.4 completion proportion, 2,242 passing yards, 17 landing passes, 55 sacks, 11 interceptions and an 85.2 passer score.
He additionally grew to become simply the third quarterback in NFL historical past to surpass 1,000 dashing yards in a season, ending with 1,143 plus eight touchdowns.
Getsy has liked Fields’ funding in his development course of and the management he has proven in commanding the group. In a process-driven setting, Fields has been persistently engaged, pushed and responsive.
“The biggest thing we do is we’ll continue to challenge every player, and Justin for sure,” Getsy stated. “Every day we’re going to return in and we’re going to problem them, we’re going to demand issues from them. As lengthy as we see development, we all know we’re on the fitting path…. That’s what I noticed day by day. I proceed to see that.
“As we go into next year, now he’s had this experience. He’s had his opportunities to get more comfortable with the communication of the system and hopefully get more comfortable with the people around him. It’s all that stuff. Any time you can get that cohesiveness of the unit together and knowing what the culture looks like and that he’s the leader of that culture, all that stuff is promising.”
Getsy believes Fields’ management traits, possession of the group and unwavering day by day work habits are vital stipulations for turning into a standout franchise quarterback.
“The results of it and the statistics that everyone’s looking for, those will come,” he stated. “And we know that. The most important thing is that we continue to see growth.”