Influx of youth, trades give birth to new era of Bears football

Tyler Yakimisky, Co-Editor-In-Chief

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  For years, the Bears have been the laughing stock of Chicago professional sports– five straight years of being at or below an 8-8 record accompanied by no playoff appearances since 2010.

Oof.

But, thanks to the dominance of the Cubs and the Blackhawks, people have remained optimistic about the Bears since the other teams masked the poor play of this team.

Fortunately, for us Bears fans, our streak of mediocrity appears to be over as the Bears turn the corner thanks to an influx of young players and trades.

“Being a Bears fan has been like a roller coaster ride, but as of right now, it’s going up because of the success they’ve had,” senior Justin Binz said.

The disappointment that the Bears sometime bring traces back all the way to before we high school students were born.

“I go all the way back to the 70s when they were real, real bad with quarterbacks like [Bob] Avellini, Mike

Phipps, who most people nowadays don’t even know about,” English teacher Corey Knigge said.

This year, some of the factors that have caused this team to breakout ahead of schedule were Khalil Mack, Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson who the team acquired from trades or through free agency in the offseason.

Mack has certainly become a favorite throughout the city of Chicago and its suburbs, and Knigge touched on this by saying, “I like Mack a lot because you can just see the difference between when he is playing and not playing. I don’t think the general public realizes how much dominance one player can have.”

However, these players wouldn’t be able to have the success they are having without their coaching staff, obviously, which includes head coach Matt Nagy who was hired after a three-year stint as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator.

“I feel like Nagy really helped change the culture, and that’s big. If they start believing in what’s going on and believe they can win, that’s a major key,” Knigge said.

The Bears did not only have success in the open market, but in the draft as well, by selecting Roquan Smith out of Georgia who is an integral part of the team’s elite linebacking core and by selecting Anthony Miller out of Memphis who currently leads all Bears receivers in receiving touchdowns.

Furthermore, the development of Mitchell Trubisky, the starting quarterback, also remains a huge goal of this coaching staff as many believe he is still far from his ceiling as an NFL quarterback.  After all, he has only played around 25 games since high school.

In fact, Binz actually was able to meet the franchise centerpiece at the Chipotle on Milwaukee Ave. in Libertyville a few weeks ago.

“He’s super cool guy and really personable,” Binz said.

As the season marches on, Bears fans continue to eye that playoff spot, something that has eluded them for the last seven years.

And many fans are confident as they continue to increase the gap among the other NFC North division teams.

“I know for a fact they’re going to make the playoffs this year; hopefully, they can even pull off [winning] a couple games in the playoffs,” junior Drake Morton said.

A huge step forward in achieving this goal came on Thanksgiving Day when the Bears faced its division rival the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan.

In what was less perfect than their previous win versus the Lions two weeks prior, the Bears managed to get the win with backup quarterback Chase Daniel 23-16, which eliminated the Lions from the divisional race.

Morton looked forward to this game, saying, “I’m going to really enjoy watching [the Bears vs. Lions game] with all my family around and a bunch of food on the table.”

 

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