Robert Quinn garnered most of the attention following the Bears’ 29-3 win, and deservedly so. It’s not every day an NFL player sets a new franchise record, let alone a defensive record for the Chicago Bears. But in terms of players who helped the Bears win on Sunday, no man was more important than Quinn’s pass-rushing partner, Trevis Gipson.
Gipson has arguably been the team’s most improved player in their young core, going from a healthy scratch in Week 2, to a critical edge rusher filling in for Khalil Mack. He’s gotten better and better, culminating in a two sack, two forced fumble and one QB hit performance on Sunday. It didn’t take long for him to leave his mark on the game either, with one of his strip sacks coming on the first play of the game.
“It felt good, man,” Gipson said. “That’s what the defense is about. We want to be about turnovers and getting the ball back to our offense as fast as possible. So just going out there, flying around, after we get a turnover, pointing which way to run and where’s the camera at, people slide in. It’s just fun man.”
For Matt Nagy, it’s rewarding watching Gipson go from fifth-round draft pick project player, to impact player in less than two full seasons.
“He’s been phenomenal,” Nagy said. “The thing with Trevis is, Trevis came in as a rookie and the person, the high character, the want, the position he played in college, coming in here trying to find a niche, he is another guy that practices super hard.”
Although Gipson has been hard at work, he hasn’t had many opportunities playing behind Quinn and Khalil Mack. It’s tough to crack the rotation when two of the best pass rushers in the league ahead of you on the depth chart. But when Mack went down, an opportunity presented itself to Gipson to show what he had learned from watching the two superstars for the past two years.
“Honestly, I don’t think (Mack) even cares about the quarterback,” Gipson said. “He cares about the ball. Hearing that repetitively in our room from those guys, him and Robert Quinn, I think it’s sort of just setting in on me, like man, you can still get the sack-fumble if you hit the ball. You don’t just have to get the sack. You get more when you hit the ball. That’s something I take into my pass rush, and I feel like I’m appreciative of those guys and what they are preaching all the time.”
“When he watches Khalil and Robert practice the way they practice, it’s contagious,” Nagy said. “And so what happens is now you get out here in this game, you put it all together.”
That’s when the game starts slowing down for players like Gipson. Once that happens, he can start noticing little things on the field to take yet another step in his development.
“They’ll notice a chip block coming from the running back or tight end,” Nagy said. “They see that stuff and they get better from it, and he’s seeing that right now.”