Why Bears see Danny Trevathan as critical to their turnaround after disappointing Week 1


It’s weeks like this where the Bears feel especially lucky to have Danny Trevathan. 

With a full 10 days to separating their Week 1 loss to the Green Bay Packers from their Week 2 trip to face the Denver Broncos, the Bears have leaned on the culture established inside Halas Hall to move on from that disappointing defeat to the game in front of them. Trevathan isn’t the only voice in the locker room pushing this team forward, but he’s one of the most important. 

Not only is Trevathan a vocal leader, he’s a productive, reliable presence at inside linebacker who had over 100 tackles in 2018. He also has a Super Bowl ring, which he won with the team the Bears will play on Sunday. And that ring only amplifies his voice. 

“He comes in with instant credibility,” defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said. “… He does a great job of coming in every day and earning that respect, so it goes a long way because they understand how hard it is to get there and how hard it is to actually win it. It's monumental in the sacrifices that everybody has to make, so it's great having guys that have been down that road.”

Trevathan wasn’t too interested in talking about playing his first regular season game in Denver since leaving the Broncos as a free agent following Super Bowl 50. He learned from some great players there, be it Von Miller or DeMarcus Ware or Chris Harris or Peyton Manning, among others. But he wanted to make clear this upcoming game isn’t about him. 

“If I concentrate on myself or think about stuff like that, that’s selfish,” Trevathan said. “And I’m not that type of player.”

While the issues that led to the Bears’ loss to the Packers didn’t involve the defense, players on both sides of the ball benefit from Trevathan’s impact. The Bears' locker room is not divided into sections for offensive players or defensive players, for what it's worth. 

"One thing he’s huge on is just being positive,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “Just picking up the offense whenever they’re down, defense, special teams and then when someone makes a play usually he’s one of the first ones congratulating them and letting them know that they did (something) good. 

That positivity is something coaches pick up on, too. The Bears, especially in the aftermath of such a negative Week 1, needed that this week. 

“Danny’s a very positively emotional guy,” former defensive coordinator-turned Broncos coach Vic Fangio said. “He’s totally in this team, he wants the team to do well, he wants to be a leader and he is just because of the way he plays and his emotional fire, the intensity with which he plays. And he’s a contagious guy in that regard, besides being a hell of a football player.”

So while this week isn’t about Trevathan’s return to Denver, in some small way, it’s been about the kind of leadership the 29-year-old linebacker brings to the Bears. He’s one of Matt Nagy’s go-to guys, the type who the second-year Bears coach can point to when he argues the culture inside Halas Hall is one of the reasons why he believes the team’s problems from Week 1 won’t snowball into Week 2. 

“He’s not afraid to rally the troops, get them in, tell everybody where we went wrong,” Nagy said. “And the best part about Danny is he’s very positive. He’s a good role model for the young guys. A guy like myself, when you have a loss like we just had in Week 1, you look for guys like Danny, the vocal guys that can help lead.”

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