Javon Wims unleashing punches on a Saints defender well after the whistle was the most embarrassing moment for the Bears on Sunday, in a game that featured an atrocious interception, dropped passes and missed opportunities on defense. While the bad turnover and dropped balls didn’t look out of place in the Bears offense, Wims’ violent outburst has no place in Halas Hall.
“That’s not something that the Bears organization-- especially since I’ve been there-- we’re not an organization known for that,” said Lance Briggs on Football Aftershow. “That was a deal that was relegated to the Oakland Raiders. They were a team that was known for penalties. We’re a team that went out and played football within the rules of the game. Beat them between whistles, you know? Be tough.”
“Football is a violent sport. It is. But the thing is, if he supposedly got spit in the face, the beauty of football is you might not see him again the rest of the game, but you’re going to see someone else. Someone else can pay for what he did, within the rules of the game. That’s the beauty of football.”
It’s not like Briggs doesn’t understand that frustrations can run high on the football field. He’s been there. But that still doesn’t excuse Wims’ actions.
“I’ve been cheap-shotted, de-cleated, and wanted to get the guy,” Briggs said. “I knew I wasn’t going to get him, but this guard right here, he’s going to pay for what this guy over here did a play ago. He doesn’t even know it, but that’s the beauty of the sport.”
Of all the Football Aftershow crew, Olin Kreutz could probably relate best to Wims. He infamously broke teammate Fred Miller’s jaw in one fight, and broke another teammate’s jaw while still in college. Still, he says Wims has to learn from his mistakes, as this is the second fight for Wims in the last two years. At training camp last season, Wims got into a fight with cornerback Prince Amukamara.
“I’ve made mistakes,” Kreutz said. I had problems handling my emotions at times. So you get older and you need leaders to come to your locker to say, ‘Hey, Olin, we can’t have that. We can’t win or play winning football with you doing that. It’s selfish.’... That’s something that Javon Wims has to learn.
“Treat it like the big picture. The Bears are in a game with the New Orleans Saints. The offense isn’t very good. This offense can’t get behind the chains and get first downs. So now, they were in 2nd-and-5, but now they’re in 2nd-and-20. There’s just no chance for them to get a first down. So not only did you get a penalty, but you really hurt your team on a night that they could have stolen this game and walked away with a win.”
But don’t blame it all on Wims. Both Kreutz and Alex Brown say the buck ultimately has to stop with head coach Matt Nagy.
“You’re the most penalized team in the league,” Brown said. “Now on national TV, on a prime time game, you’ve got a player out there swinging on a guy-- and the guy was just standing there. That says it all. It all reflects on the coach.”
“When you have all those penalties and you’re the offensive guy, the room is yours,” Kreutz said. “When you have a guy running up and two-piecing somebody, throwing a left-right and then another one when the guy is just standing there, no matter how you do it, it’s a reflection on you as the head coach.”