When the Bears made rush-linebacker Pernell McPhee their priority signing in 2015 free agency, it was to upgrade the pass rush. It was also to be part of effecting a culture change, particularly on a defense gone soft as well as bad. McPhee’s self-description of his play on the day he was introduced as a Bear was simply, “violent.”
Violent without talent, however, isn’t a positive; witness prison populations. But when GM Ryan Pace began his second free-agency period, it was evident that continuing the culture change was important.
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Pace appeared to have achieved that secondary goal with his first two ’16 signings, right tackle Bobby Massie and linebacker Danny Trevathan.
“I’m nasty in the run game,” said Massie, who was told he was coming to Chicago as a right tackle, presumably to be to the right of Kyle Long at right guard. “But pass game, I’m efficient. I can’t really be too aggressive in the pass protection from an offensive tackle. I’m patient.”
Trevathan knows McPhee in part from sharing an agent. But he describes himself as out of the McPhee mindset on the field.
“He’s a monster,” Trevathan said. “Every time he’s putting his hands on somebody, it’s a train wreck.
“That’s similar to my style. I’m kind of back a little bit farther [at inside linebacker], so I get a little bit more momentum. But to have somebody like that in front of you, and playing with my attitude, I think it could be spectacular with things we do. Hopefully our attitude covers all the defense, just starts getting contagious, like winning, just start spreading to these guys. And I believe it will. If they got their head on right, and they are a great group of guys, and they’re ready to win.”
Too much “violent?” Not necessarily. After his and the Denver Broncos win in Super Bowl 50, Trevathan had other plans: “I went to see my daughter, took my girl to Hawaii,” he said. “We went back home for a little bit. I got to take her to Disney World.”