Are the Bears starting to crack? Cornerback Jaylon Johnson said on a Barstool Sports podcast that a split was developing in the locker room, with some players checking in as the Bears came out of contention at 4-9.
âYou have the side of the locker room that starts to go into the tank,â Johnson said, âand you have the guys who are always trying to fight and figure out how we can improve.â
But security veteran Tashaun Gipson refuted that, saying, “I don’t see any abandonment in this locker room.”
Gipson, a 10-year veteran and a Pro Bowl safety on the 7-9 Browns in 2014, is an expert witness. He was one of the teams that fired the head coach in four of his first five seasons in the NFL. The 2013 Browns (4-12) have lost their last seven games. The 2015 Browns (3-13) and 2016 Jaguars (3-13) have lost 10 of their last 11. And the 2018 Jaguars (5-11) have lost 12 of their last 14.
âNobody packed it. I’ll be the first guy to tell you [if they did]”said Gipson.” I’ve been on teams where guys ship their cars [home]. Around this time the cars were being sent home. This is not the case [with the Bears]. I still drive my same car here. So I didn’t send my car home. I always feel like we have a lot to play with.
Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai said he hasn’t seen any players drop out this season and cited the Bears’ game against the Packers last week as proof. The Bears allowed 38 points in the second and third quarters, but just seven in the fourth in a 45-30 loss at Lambeau Field.
âI think you’ve seen in this game our guys are contenders and they’re going to fight and claw for whatever they’ve got,â Desai sald.
“Don’t shoot – super shot”?
Bears returner Jakeem Grant appeared to commit a deadly sin when he fielded a punt inside the 5-yard line against the Packers – but after running into trouble to his right, he reversed direction for a 97-yard touchdown. It’s the longest punt return in franchise history.
Bears special teams coach Chris Tabor agreed with Grant to field the punt in this situation – and not just because of the result.
âProbably normal football fans, I think they would say, ‘Why would you want to catch the ball inside the 5-yard line? “Because I think that’s what everyone learns,” Tabor said. âBut in a world of special teams, if you have a special, dynamic turner you can stretch it a little bit more.
âI think when he caught the ball the players were still 15-16 yards away from him. So if the players have to be that far, we want to shoot on goal. And he did. “
Linebacker Roquan Smith (hamstrings) and tight end Jimmy Graham (knee) were limited in Friday practice. Defensive end Akiem Hicks (ankle) trained hard for the second straight day.
Left tackle Jason Peters (ankle), cornerback Xavier Crawford (concussion) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (foot) did not practice. Peters has a sprained ankle and is not expected to play the Vikings on Monday night.