It is amazing how a difficult season by a team can make it so easy to overlook great individual efforts by certain players. There is no greater example for the Chicago Bears than Trevis Gipson. The team struggled in 2021, finishing 6-11. Their first losing record since 2017. One thing that can be said about that is it wasn’t because Gipson failed to do his part. The former 5th round pick exceeded expectations in every respect.
Think about this. Chicago traded up to draft him out of Tulsa in 2020. He was considered raw and an awkward fit for their defense, given he’d played defensive end in college. Shifting to outside linebacker in a 3-4 is never easy. Gipson would have to remake his body while expanding his pass rush moves repertoire. This led to few opportunities as a rookie. Just 41 pass rush snaps, resulting in four total QB pressures and no sacks.
One year later, despite a new defensive coaching staff, he exploded.
Gipson played 16 games last season. He finished with seven sacks and five forced fumbles. Only Chandler Jones and Joey Bosa forced more fumbles. His 27 pressures on the quarterback were better than Chase Young, Ryan Kerrigan, and Bud Dupree. All of them played as many or more pass rush snaps as him. It wasn’t like he just feasted on cupcakes, either. Two and a half of those sacks came against Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Derek Carr.
Second-year #Bears edge defender Trevis Gipson has played 57 defensive snaps in 3 games. He only played 71 total last season. With Gipson seeing the field more, his production is also going up. Here he bench presses T.J. Hockenson and makes the tackle on the RB for a 1-yard loss. pic.twitter.com/1iPIqD58CG
— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) October 6, 2021
6. Robert Quinn finished with 19 sacks. The second time he’s done that in his career. For two different teams.
Trevis Gipson finished his second year with 7 sacks and the #Bears defense had 49 total.
How good would this pass rush have been with Khalil Mack healthy all year? pic.twitter.com/co4B8GgNqP
— Erik Lambert (@ErikLambert1) January 9, 2022
Strip sack number TWO for Trevis Gipson today pic.twitter.com/rdzzbpZla4
— Barstool Chicago (@barstoolchicago) January 2, 2022
The scariest part in all of this is Trevis Gipson may still be scratching the surface of what he can do. Obviously, he figured out a lot of the intricacies of rushing the passer last year, particularly when it comes to hand technique. Now he falls under the guidance of Matt Eberflus. The Bears head coach developed a reputation in Indianapolis for maximizing the productivity of his defensive linemen.
Denico Autry – Career-high 9 sacks in first season under him Margus Hunt – Career-high 5 sacks in first season under him Justin Houston – Cracked double-digit sacks for first time in five years under him DeForest Buckner – Career-high 26 QB hits in first season under him Al-Quadin Muhammad – Doubled his career-best sack total in 2021
Eberflus is all about energy, intensity, and intelligence. He and defensive coordinator Alan Williams will set the standard even higher for Gipson moving forward. Seeing how well he responded to the challenge thus far, it is incredible to think he could get even better.
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