Earlier in the year, the Chicago Bears were left with an incredibly large void on the defensive side of the ball. Future Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher was released, leaving the responsibility of ‘field general’ on the shoulders of outside linebacker Lance Briggs.
Early on under new coach Marc Trestman, Briggs asked if he could be the one to make the defensive calls on the field. Trestman said that showed him a lot about what type of player he is and that he’s excited to work with him.
During training camp, Briggs has done a nice job of taking on the leadership role left by Urlacher. Briggs has been the one to get all the guys in the right places, especially the younger ones who may be learning an NFL system for the first time.
As for the transition to a new head coach and a new system, Briggs says he’s completely on board with it.
“We’re all buying in,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “I’m all in. All in to the program. (Trestman) is a good coach. Good man. I can tell you he’s a great man. The things that he wants out of us he’s getting out of us. We have a fast-paced practice. That’s the way the season’s going to run. I know he knows he has some great players here in Chicago. It’s just about directing them in the right direction.”
With a few of his teammates entering the final years of their contracts, Briggs knows this “championship year,” as he calls it, is more important than ever before.
“Right now is more precious than tomorrow,” he said when referring to the guys on the last year of their deals. This defense may look a little different next season with veteran cornerback Charles Tillman and defensive tackle Henry Melton specifically having the possibility of moving on to a different team.
Overall, though, Briggs is just trying to continue in the ways that were taught to him and the guys by former head coach Lovie Smith while learning a new system under coach Trestman.
“The values and things Lovie instilled in us will always be with us. We will carry that over,” Briggs said. “Lovie will live through us. [Brian]Urlacher, Israel Idonije, Mike Brown, all those guys will continue to live through us.”
If Briggs’ attitude is any indication of what kind of year is ahead for Chicago, we could be in for a truly inspiring effort by the Bears defense.