As “Year 2” Officially Begins, Bears Have Eyes on Building a Dynasty

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Tarik Cohen certainly knows how to make an entrance. 

Rocking a Walter Payton jersey, Cohen made quite a bit of (literal) noise when he whipped his Polaris Slingshot up to the dorm rooms at Olivet Nazarene University.

Like an All-Pro running back gunning it through the parking while blasting DaBaby, the Bears aren’t sneaking up on anyone this season. 

“We hold ourselves to a higher standard now,” Cohen said. “The older guys that have been here and watched us go from last place to winning the division, we know what it takes to have that success and to have that work pay off in the regular season coming out of camp.

“... I'm doing what I love, playing football and I get the opportunity to come out here with my guys and make a dynasty.” 

The personnel is in place. Whether it’s a wide receivers room that could feature 7 guys on the final 53, an overhauled running back group better suited to thrive in Matt Nagy’s system, or an offensive line that’s returning all five starters, the Bears’ offense has all the looks of a unit hell bent on improving from a 2018 campaign that saw them finish 21st in DVOA. 

“Like I said before, we know where we ended off last year but we're not going to wake up one day and be in the playoffs,” Allen Robinson said. “We've got to take each and every week how we did it last year, and make sure we have the same goals. Win our division, get back to the playoffs and then go from there on.” 

Of course, it’s all for naught without noticeable progress from quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who comes to Bourbonnais with all the pressure of a young QB in the pivotal third year of his NFL career. Throwing for 3223 yards, 24 touchdowns and completing 66 percent of your passes is by no means a bad sophomore season, but ask anyone in Halas Hall about the QB’s untapped potential, and they’ll all say the same thing: as Trubisky goes, so does the offense. 

“Rookie season didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” he said. “Last year, we saw a little bit of progress, and that’s the theme for this camp, just steady, incremental progress…

“... I think if you just focus on the little things then the big leaps will take care of themselves. Obviously, we all want to have big years but it doesn’t happen like that. We gotta come to work every day.” 

 What does a successful camp look like for the Bears, and for an offense that’s more than ready to pick up their end of the slack? It depends on who you ask. 

“For me it’s just completing a lot of balls, getting in and out of the huddle, and taking care of the football,” Trubisky said. “It all starts for me just good eyes and good footwork throughout camp.” 

“Just work on being consistent,” Cohen added. “I feel like that was one of the biggest things last year; we need to be more consistent. 

“The defense bailed us out last year a lot and we want to do our job more often this year.” 

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