The legendary Chicago Bears chatted exclusively with BGO!
There aren’t many players in the history of the Chicago Bears franchise that know defense better than Mike Singletary.
Singletary, of course, was the on-field coach and leader of the vaunted 46 Defense of the 1985 Chicago Bears. He was a perennial All-Pro and has been enshrined in Canton.
Singletary’s impressive credentials on the field, are almost as impressive as the type of human being he is off the field. Singletary recently boarded the Hope Floats Barge down in Texas in an effort to help get safe drinking water to thousands in the country of Liberia.
You can check out more about the story here, and we also encourage anyone who can afford it, to help Samauri Mike’s cause in bringing safe drinking water to those less fortunate.
While Singletary sat down with BGO to help promote his worthy cause, he also had time to talk some Chicago Bears with us as well.
The Chicago Bears defense this season looked like it was headed towards becoming an elite squad, but the last couple of games they haven’t been as sharp. Any observations as to why that’s the case?
I think once you can see a defense and you study them a little bit, a team like New England is going to do a better job trying to slide the protection to Khalil Mack and really try to control the line of scrimmage or whatever. But I do believe they have a good defense and I do believe they’ll get better and hopefully make a run for the division title. Hopefully keep they keep fighting and scratching there and they’ll figure it out.
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One of those defensive players is rookie Roquan Smith out of Georgia. As someone who knows what it takes to be an elite inside linebacker at the NFL level, have you watched Smith so far and what are your early thoughts?
I’ve watched him some. I just think he has to get used to the position and really understand exactly what they are calling for him to do in that particular defense. He certainly has some great players around him. I think they have a chance to build something very special. Hopefully he can stay healthy and continue to grow.
The Bears finally appear to have a talented roster. Something they haven’t been able to boast in some time, but the team is still struggling to win games consistently. As someone who was a part of teams that consistently had winning records year in and year out, what does this team need to do to go from being a pretty good team, to being a great team?
I think, first of all, they’re going in the right direction because you have to have great players. When you have great players, then it’s really developing the culture, that’s the next step you need. Because when you have the right culture and you have the right players then things begin to fall in place. It’s the leadership, the culture, the players, all of that is needed in order to really begin to build a foundation and set a standard in place of this is how we play, this is how we do things, this is how we prepare. Hopefully all of those things will fall in place in a short amount of time and the Bears will be on their way to winning championships.
We’ve seen a big change in the NFL the last couple years regarding player safety, this year, the new rules, specifically the roughing the passer penalty, have been taken to a whole new level. Do you like where the game is headed, or do you think the penalties are being called too tightly?
Obviously, first of all, they’re going to bring attention to it to begin with, sort of like the 5-yard chuck rule at the line of scrimmage when they were trying to instill that. I think they are going to go overkill to begin with and hopefully make sure everyone’s got the message and dial back at a later time and go, this is what we’re trying to get to, so hopefully that’s the idea and I think that’s where they’re going to go with it.
We know the ’85 Bears defense is widely considered the greatest we’ve ever seen. But with the game evolving, many analysts nowadays say that the 46 Defense was a product of the era and couldn’t be successful in the modern-day NFL. Do you think the 46 Defense could work today?
Well, I’ll put it this way. I think defense is defense, it’s all about having someone that really has the vision to look at what’s important. I think there are many defenses out there that are trying to do everything and be everything to everybody. I think Buddy [Ryan] really understood what we needed and really understood the attack we needed to have and the focus and that’s what we focused on. I think that for us, yes, it would work today. But I wouldn’t spend one second trying to argue with someone that it would or wouldn’t. It just comes down to the belief that you have in the system that you’re running.
One thing about the ’85 Bears is that it really seemed that players on both sides of the ball really rallied behind and respected Jim McMahon. How important is it for players on both sides of the ball to believe in their quarterback and do you think this Bears’ team has that belief in young Mitch Trubisky?
It’s really important that his teammates respect him. I think with Trubisky, I think he’s a hard-working guy, I think he’s a smart guy, I think he puts in the time and obviously he has the talent. I just think it’s going to be important to do the work and just put the work in and hopefully all of the work that he puts in will begin to show on the field and that respect for the quarterback for the entire team to have makes all the difference in the world.