One of the toughest things about being a fan in the modern era of sports is the inescapable feeling that the players you’re rooting for aren’t feeling the same way you do after losses. It’s just a sense you can get sometimes, and the cognitive dissonance can be annoying to unpack.
That will NOT be an issue today. Even if it was just for a moment, some notable Bears players were all of us after Sunday’s loss to the Ravens. That is to say, they were as hot as we have been.
— andy (@AndyGetBuckets) November 21, 2021
"A little pissed off. Mad. You don't want to lose." – Darnell Mooney on the #Bears five-game losing streak.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) November 21, 2021
It’s good that the Bears have players who are mad. Losing stinks, but I’m glad Robert Quinn was describing his feeling as sickening in the wake of that defeat. And it is a good thing to hear Darnell Mooney was “pissed off” after that one. Being upset and sharing that emotion publicly shows that they care.
Mooney is a second-year player who was a fifth-round pick in 2020 and is still climbing the depth chart trying to establish himself as a go-to receiver. Robert Quinn is an established vet who is in the midst of a renaissance year, but also watching a season in which he already has 10 sacks go to waste on a 3-7 team. These guys have a lot of reasons to care, and they want to win.
Now, if players were publicly apathetic after that one, then we’d have some issues. I mean, bigger issues than the ones the Bears are currently facing.
I’m not sure anyone’s message resonates stronger than what cornerback Jaylon Johnson had to say, via NBC Sports Chicago’s Alex Shapiro:
“How many games have we lost in a row? There’s nothing to talk about. We aren’t going to beat a dead horse. We are all men. Coming in here and saying ‘we have to figure out a way,’ to me it’s BS.
We have to find ways to win, we just have to get it done. Whatever it is. Like I said, whatever it is but there’s nothing to keep coming in here and talking about, and having all these rah-rah speeches. We’ve had five weeks of rah-rah speeches. I don’t think that talking is anything we need to be doing.”
OOF. Nothing like one of your young defensive leaders saying the quiet part loud. This is as damning as it gets when a player essentially says the time to talk is over (whether he’s explicitly talking about the coaching staff or not). Less talk, more action. Now, *THAT* is a sentiment everyone can get behind.
The quick turnaround is a gift and a curse. Players don’t love the quick flip from Sunday to Thursday for obvious rest and health reasons. But on the bright side, that Thursday morning start time means there is less time to talk, and a quicker path to getting back to the action.
As for the rest of the organization, well, here’s hoping they are listening to the frustrations of not only the fans, but also the players.