Bears signing Chicagoland natives is no mistake


The Local Guys group in the Bears locker room has grown this offseason. Free agent signings T.J. Edwards and Robert Tonyan both hail from the Chicagoland Area, and join fellow LGs Cole Kmet, Jack Sanborn and Doug Kramer. It may seem like a neat coincidence, but it was no mistake.

“There’s something to it for me,” Ryan Poles told reporters at the NFL owners meetings on Monday. “I think when you have pride of your local team that you grew up watching, you knew what this club meant to the city and you saw some good times with some good players, I think you’re a little bit more motivated to perform at a high level and lead, because you’ve seen guys do it at a high level before you. So I always like that aspect. I think it just means a little bit more.”

The local players have shared a similar sentiment when talking about the opportunity to play for the Bears. For Tonyan, joining the Bears is the realization of a lifelong dream.

“Did I think I’d play for the Bears? Yeah, absolutely,” Tonyan said. “In my brain I was playing for the Bears my whole life."

Edwards shared several memories of rooting for the Bears that are important to him, and now he’s excited to add some more as a player.

“I met Urlacher his rookie year at a meet and greet or something like that and that was special for me and my friends,” said Edwards. “And then Devin Hester, that first kick return in the Super Bowl will always stick out to me. But there’s so many (good memories). I’ve been to a couple games, been to a couple family nights and things like that growing up, been in the stands a lot at Soldier. So it’s pretty special, for sure.

“It’s a special moment for me and my family. Parents were all in tears when I got the call. It’s special. Now it’s my job to make the most out of it.”

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