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Bears rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent excels in loss to the Colts

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
August 20, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Backed up at his own 8-yard line, undrafted rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent lined up with the rest of the Bears’ offense.

The two previous Bears’ drives, led by P.J. Walker, ended in punts.

Bagent wasn’t going to let the offense end in the same result. Instead, Bagent led his unit to a 17-play, 92-yard touchdown drive that ended with Bagent scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run. He went 7 of 8 for 61 yards through the air, and celebrated by spiking the football in the end zone.

“Yeah, that was pretty cool,” Bagent said on his spike. “Just because coming from college, you know, I didn’t really celebrate like that. I’ve never, I never even practiced the spike before, so I thought it was pretty, I thought it was pretty solid form and everybody seemed to be pretty juiced up, you know. The offense was just also celebrating with the O-line after just a big drive like that is always pretty exciting. It was a lot of fun.”

Bagent completed passes to Dante Pettis, Nsimba Webster, Joe Reed, Roschon Johnson and Daurice Fountain. The former Division II quarterback from Shepard showed good command and comfortability on the long touchdown drive that lasted over nine minutes.

“Man, he grew up,” Fountain said. “He is a pro. I loved it. He is a true general for leading us down on that touchdown drive. I was just really proud of him to just to see him be comfortable and just take control of the offense.”

On one of the throws to Pettis, Bagent recognized a Colts defender blitzing off the right edge, so Bagent made a change at the line of scrimmage and threw a quick pass to his receiver on the blitzing side — which picked up four yards. Wasn’t the biggest gain, but the play kept the Bears on schedule and moving up the field.

Bagent made the most of his opportunity in the 24-17 loss to the Colts — finishing 9 of 10 for 76 yards. Walker did not. The veteran quarterback ended the night 1 of 4 for six yards, and his play on Saturday night was a continuation of how training camp has fared for Walker. Walker still has not given any reason as to why he should be penciled in as the backup quarterback, and Matt Eberflus opened up the possibility that there could be a change.

“I think everything is open right now,” Eberflus said. “I really do. I think if you have a closed mind and if somebody is rising or executing or, you know,you always never put a ceiling on any player, you know. There’s never that. You always look for the best in every guy and you’ll see guys all sudden, they’ll get into a game and then they start rising up, you know. This is just easy for them and it’s, it’s, they can execute in that moment and in those moments. “

Bears DT Zacch Pickens flashes

With Justin Jones and Andrew Billings not playing against the Colts, rookies Zacch Pickens and Gervon Dexter Sr. got the starts. Pickens played the entire first half and ended with three total tackles and a tackle for loss.

On back-to-back plays, the third-round draft pick out of South Caroline made his presence felt. On first down, Pickens powered through the guard and made a tackle for just a 1-yard gain. Then on second-and-9, Pickens tracked down the running back on a screen pass and helped get a tackle for loss.

One area that Pickens felt good about in tonight’s game was his ability to stop the run.

“That’s one thing we practiced on a lot and I keyed on the whole week,” Pickens said. “Basically stop the run and today showed.”

Another area of his game that he worked on was his get-off and his hand placement. And if there were times when things weren’t right, Pickens could count on Andrew Billings to point things out to the rookie.”

“I deal with Billings a lot cause we both play the same position,” Pickens said. “Billings helped me out tremendously, so whenever I felt like I did something, we would both talk about it. He would be like, ‘Yeah, I struggle with that, too.’ But that’s how you can do it better.” So we always encourage, he encourage me.”

The game reps and veteran guidance have both helped Pickens to become more acclimated to the NFL game speed so far through the preseason. And the young defensive lineman feels that he is ready to make an impact come the regular season.

“My confidence level is pretty high,” Pickens said. “I have huge expectations for myself and I hold myself to a higher standard and the coaches does, too.”

Other Observations

  • Tyrique Stevenson didn’t play as well as he did against the Titans. The rookie cornerback was flagged for a personal foul penalty on a late hit near the sideline. Also, he failed to capitalize on an end zone interception because the ball went right through his hands and ended up being a touchdown for the Colts.
  • Terrell Lewis continues to make impact plays. Late in the second quarter, Lewis beat the left tackle around the edge and stuck his hand out to strip Sam Ehlinger of the football. That is back-to-back games for Lewis with a strip-sack.
  • Daurice Fountain had the play of the game with his 35-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter. “It was a blessing, man,” Fountain said. “Just happy my teammates put me in a position to go make a play. My coach told me at the second half that he was going to dial that play up, so I was just happy I I got the opportunity to make it.”
  • Roschon Johnson continues to show off his physical running ability. The rookie ended with 32 yards on seven carries. Johnson also caught one pass for 11 yards.

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