The big winner of the Chicago Bears preseason opener was Trevis Gipson. He started off listed pretty low on the depth chart, but he clearly played with a chip on his shoulder as he racked up eight pressures on 32 pass-rushing snaps.
Trevis Gipson is not a lock for the Chicago Bears 53-man roster
Most fans will tell you that was enough for him to make the roster after being on the fringe, but he will definitely need to show more. It was the first preseason game, and the Titans did not play a lot of their starters.
However, when they did play their starters on the offensive line, the Chicago Bears chose to rush Rasheem Green and Dominique Robinson against them and not Trevis Gipson. So, if those two rushers looked worse, it is probably because they were playing better competition.
Almost all of the pressures that Gipson recorded came against Andrew Rupcich and Zack Johnson. Rupcich is a second-year UDFA from Culver-Stockton, and Johnson is a fourth-year UDFA who is on his fifth team and hails from North Dakota State. So, yes, Gipson dominated these guys, but the real story would have come out if he had not dominated that competition.
If you remember the story around Gipson, he played well when he was a backup, and he got to take on tackles worn down by the starters in front of him. Then, once talented tackles got to gameplan for him, he got shut down. So, this is no different than anything Gipson has shown us, and everything he has shown us says he is still on the roster bubble.
As we noted, Green and Robinson started the game and played far less because, in the eyes of the Chicago Bears, they have less to prove than Gipson. Robinson is a Ryan Poles draft pick, while Green was just signed this offseason and has a much stronger track record than Gipson despite being the same age.
These two started because Yannick Ngakoue and DeMarcus Walker were the starters, and the Chicago Bears wanted to sit them. Poles signed Ngakoue and Walker this offseason, and they are making the most money. It is so hard to see any of those top four going anywhere.
The Bears did not even play these four against guys such as Rupcich and Johnson because they did not need to see that they knew what would happen. Gipson had to prove it against them.
Gipson is going against three players who were signed by Poles and one player drafted by him when Poles inherited Gipson from Ryan Pace. Beyond that, of the top five, Gipson has had the longest chance of playing time last season. All of the new players and Robinson will get more of a leash because they have not failed in the way that Gipson did.
It is easy to get excited about Gipson, but the Chicago Bears may not have moved him up much after one preseason game against unknown lineman. Ngakoue and Walker will not play again, so this should open another chance for him to show that he can do it again, potentially in a bigger role.