What was your take on Mitchell Trubisky saying that he wanted to turn the TVs off at Halas Hall this week because of all the criticism the Bears are receiving?
I’m sure that Mitchell Trubisky is tired of hearing and seeing all the criticism of himself and the Bears and that he believes what he said about too many people on television ripping the team that “don’t really know who we are or what we’re capable of.” But as far as his comment about turning off the TVs at Halas Hall, there was certainly a tongue-in-cheek element to it. It’s like if I gained a few pounds and said, “Geez, I wish they’d take down all the mirrors at Halas Hall.” I wouldn’t literally go to someone in the building and ask them to remove the mirrors. I think a lot of people in the media—especially those outside Chicago who don’t know Trubisky’s personality—took his comment way too literally and blew it incredibly out of proportion.
The Bears defense really hasn’t been the same since Akiem Hicks was injured against the Raiders. How much do you think they miss him?
Anytime you lose an All-Pro player who excels against the run and pass and is also a highly-respected team leader, it’s going to be a significant blow. But that doesn’t mean the Bears defense can’t excel without Akiem Hicks. The unit played its best game of the season Sept. 29 against the Vikings when Hicks was sidelined with a knee injury, so it’s obviously possible. Here’s what coach Matt Nagy said this week about the absence of Hicks: “He’s got that energy during the game where he’s just kind of barking at the line of scrimmage. His presence is really felt. He’s one of the leaders of our defense. And I think that when you lose somebody that has the size that he has, the personality that he has, that is a big loss. But at the same point in time, we feel good about our other guys. I think our defense is playing really well right now. There’s times they can be better, but all that said, losing a Pro Bowl-caliber player like him, you’re definitely going to lose a little bit.”