One of the bigger surprises leading up to the Bears’ first preseason game of the year was seeing defensive end Trevis Gipson completely buried on the depth chart. It was no secret that the team and Gipson himself each wanted to see more consistency in his play, but to see his name on the last line, behind players like undrafted free agent rookie D’Anthony Jones, was still jarring.
That might change in the near future as Gipson played a big number of snaps on Saturday, and made himself at home in the Titans’ backfield. Gipson finished the day tied for second on the team with five tackles, with one sack and three QB hits. They don’t show up in the stat sheet, but Gipson added plenty of QB pressures as well.
One would think that Gipson would be motivated by seeing his name all the way down the Bears depth chart, but after the game he said that wasn’t the case.
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“I light my own fire if I’m being honest with you. I’ve been doubted my whole life. I’ve never let anybody on the outside world determine my faith, my faith in God or my faith in my hard work.”
Gipson was happy to make the plays that he did and appreciates that he came away clearly helping the team win, but the first things he mentioned when talking about his day were the plays he didn’t make. Gipson felt he should’ve had more than just the one sack.
“I got too close too many times.”
The man opposite Gipson on the defensive line, Terrell Lewis, also made several big plays, including one impressive strip sack. If one man stands in the way of Gipson making the team, it’s probably Lewis, yet Gipson it’s worried about Lewis’ production. In fact, he celebrates it.
“I think comparison is the thief of joy. When I see other players doing good things, all I’m doing is cheering them on, I’m saluting, I’m happy for them.
“I can’t look left and right, I’ve gotta look myself in the mirror and just come to work every day like y’all do.”
Gipson and Lewis go back to the 2020 Senior Bowl, where they became friends joking around on the busses. It seems like Gipson would like it if both he and Lewis made the team, but he understands the nature of the business might not allow that.
“You know, the league is so wide, if we don’t make this team, it is what it is, but I’m just glad to see his cup runneth over, and mine too.”
So Gipson left Saturday’s game with a mix of emotions. He was happy for his successes. He was disappointed he didn’t have more success. He was appreciative of the run he got and his coaches’ faith that he could break through for a sack today and that he had the opportunity to bust out his signature Thor hammer sack celebration. Gipson is going to take time to feel all those feelings, but not too long.
“I’m not gonna be on this pedestal too long. I’m gonna get back to work tomorrow, because that’s only preseason one.”