Ron Rivera is back in the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately for Bears fans, this time Rivera isn't taking the rest of the Monsters of the Midway with him. But after winning Super Bowl XX with the Bears as a player and reaching Super Bowl XLI with the Bears as a defensive coordinator, he's now the head coach of a Super Bowl team, leading the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 after winning this weekend's NFC Championship Game.
Like his former head coach, Mike Ditka, did in 1986, Rivera is looking to become a Super Bowl-winning head coach for the first time. Monday, he was asked about what he could take from his days playing for Ditka into this year's Super Bowl.
[SHOP BEARS: Get your Bears gear right here]
"One of the things that coach Ditka emphasized to us was that we had to enjoy the moment," Rivera said. "The moment doesn't come very often. It's hard, it's hard to get to where we are right now. And so he wanted us to enjoy the moment.
"I think the biggest thing, too, is do what you've done, don't change. Some of my experiences in coaching, you get to certain situations like the playoffs, sometimes there's a little bit of — I won't say panic, but a little self doubt. 'Did I do enough? Should I do more? Should I change this?' I told our coordinators this morning: We're going to do what we do, we're going to stick to what got us to where we are today. We'll emphasize that with the players in making sure that we keep our personality."
Just like in 2007 with the Bears, Rivera is tasked with stopping Peyton Manning. Manning led the Colts past the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Now it'll be Rivera's Panthers against Manning's Colts in Super Bowl 50.
The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.
They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.
The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.
The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.
The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.
The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.
The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.
Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.
0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?
4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go?
5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami
7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?
10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game
11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?
13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making
17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?
18:00– Bears need to run the ball more
21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets
Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.