BEARS LOCKER ROOM
Players know they let one get away
Green Bay — At first, the Chicago Bears locker room was exactly what you would expect to see after a gut-wrenching defeat Sunday night.
A pin drop could practically be heard as players slowly and quietly dressed and equipment personnel discreetly picked up and bagged gear for the flight back to Chicago. “45 minutes and the buses leave,” announced a team official.
The pace picked up and players started talking a bit to teammates. Linebacker Danny Trevathan searched carefully for the right words after a 20-0 Chicago lead evaporated in the second half.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Lambeau Field scoreboard read 20-3 and the partisan crowd was nervous and quiet as the Bears were in control of this 197th meeting of the NFL’s oldest rivals.
“We got them out of their game a little bit, got the turnovers, miscues,” Trevathan said. “We just let this game slip towards the end. We didn’t have a good second half.
“We did not do what we came here to do. We’re going to get back to work and going to get it done.”
The difference between getting it done and not getting it done in the NFL comes down to a handful of plays each game. How? “Together, believe in one another, push one another,” Trevathan said with conviction. “I think we have the people here to do that. We just didn’t execute perfectly today, and you need to do that to win games like this. Away games, big rivalry. We just didn’t execute to the best of our ability for four quarters straight. That’s it.” “20 minutes and the buses leave,” announced a team official.
After his head coaching debut, Matt Nagy wants his team to feel the emotional defeat and grow from it.
“Of course it stings,” Nagy said in his post-game news conference. “I want our guys to feel that. They understand. I want our coaches to feel it. We talked about finishing and we didn’t do that, but I will say this: I’m really proud of our team. I’m proud of our guys. They did a lot of good things tonight. We are going to learn from it. It’s a long season.
“You’ve got to give credit to Green Bay. Obviously, 12 (Aaron Rodgers) coming back into the game, he showed who he was. We knew that. So give credit to them. Their coaches, their defense stepping up in the red zone.“
Mitchell Trubisky directed Chicago to 20 points over three quarters, but the offense mustered only a field goal in the critical final 15 minutes of the game.
“We moved the ball up and down the field, but there’s that sense and feeling in the locker room, especially on the offensive side, that we just need to continue to dig deeper and get over that hump of just putting up 20, 23, or however many points, getting to the 30s, getting the touchdowns, converting in the red zone, converting on third downs,” Trubisky said.
“Really dictate the game instead of giving them a chance at the end like we did.” “Five minutes, everyone on the bus,” a team official said.
Khalil Mack showed in his first week in Chicago that he’s ready to deliver a high return on the Bears’ record-setting investment in his play-making, gamechanging abilities. Mack was a dominating force in the first half and finished with three tackles, a sack and fumble recovery, and a pick-six 27-yard interception return.
The media throng was so congested in front of his locker that he decided to grab his bag and dress in a corridor at the far end of the locker room. With an ice bag taped to his right hand, Mack discussed his debut as a Bear and his love of the game.
“You prepare all off-season for the first game of the season so I wanted to come back and make an impact, but you want to win these games,” he said. “That is the only thing on my mind. I hate losing. I love the game. When you love it, it’s easy.
“We let them make too many big plays down the stretch and you can’t have that. They did a lot of quick passes and quick throws. They mixed it up. We need to put more pressure on the quarterback.”
First-year Bears receiver Allen Robinson, who spent four seasons in Jacksonville, had four receptions for 61 yards. He was the last player to depart the visitor’s locker room.
“We have to finish — it’s four quarters,” Robinson said. “Sixty minutes. You have to play every minute. We were up for majority for game, but when (the clock) said zero, zero, zero we weren’t... I love the rivalry and it came down to the wire. I had fun, but at the end of the day we didn’t get the ‘W’ and that’s the most important thing.
“I’m outta here, but we’ll be back.”
Bears linebackers Danny Trevathan and Leonard Floyd bring down Packers running back Jamaal Williams in the first quarter