LAKE FOREST — The last time Trevis Gipson sacked the quarterback was in Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
Gipson – who is now in his third season with the Bears – brought down Aaron Rodgers twice in the 27-10 loss. But since then the former fifth-round draft pick has gone into an nine-game drought without registering a sack.
“It has been a little frustrating, but at the same time I’m not going to get down or give up, point fingers or anything,” Gipson said. “You know we are going to do the best that we can to get after the quarterback and stop the run, and you know just overall rush four as one. Since Week 2 it has been challenging, yes. We’re not going to change anything that we do. Just give more effort, that’s it.”
Since that loss to the Packers, the Bears defense has only taken down opposing quarterbacks 11 times – giving the team a total of 16 sacks. So it hasn’t just been a problem Gipson has faced this season, but collectively as a unit.
However, when general manager Ryan Poles decided to trade veteran pass rusher Robert Quinn to the Eagles, he highlighted Gipson as a player he trusted to continue doing a good job at his position. When it comes to sack production, Gipson still has more to prove, especially since he had a career-high seven last season.
Even though the stats aren’t there right now, Gipson doesn’t see that as the only indicator that he is progressing as a player.
“The thing with the world is everybody is all, ‘sacks this, sacks that, interceptions this, interceptions that.’ It’s way more to football than that,” Gipson said. “So for me it’s just about getting better, whether it’s the run game, pass game or whatever the case may be. Honestly, that is what I find comfort in. As long as I feel like I’m getting better, you know, it’s a mountain of things that have to go right in order to get a sack. I’m not really just judging my season based off of sack numbers like you said. I’m just working on trying to get better, honestly. Focusing on taking that next step.”
That next step for Gipson includes stopping the run and setting edges, which he feels he has made improvements. Gipson also mentioned he has become more comfortable in this Bears defense since the season started.
And he will get an opportunity to showcase his improved run-stopping ability this Sunday against the Packers at Soldier Field. In the last meeting, Green Bay ran all over the Bears defense for 203 yards. Gipson said it all starts with tackling and playing with a physical nature.
He also knows going into this matchup that the Bears (3-8) and Packers (4-9) are currently tied atop the NFL with 786 all-time wins. So despite the teams’ records this season, Gibson still embraces the rivalry for the two franchises.
“Man, it’s a bloody war. I know that much,” Gipson said. “We hate them. They hate us. It’s going to come down to who hates each other more. Who is more disciplined, who is more physical. You know who makes the more explosive plays.”
For the 25-year-old defensive end, as long as there are games remaining on the schedule, there is plenty to play for. One of the main reasons is pride.
“Just not giving up man. Fighting. Not lowering our head, not bowing down to anybody, not giving anybody the right away before us,” Gipson said. “They come to Chicago, Chicago comes to them they are going to have to fight. … They’re going to have to do everything they can to get a win cause we’re not going to give up. That’s what is ingrained into our DNA. We finish, we fight through the whistle. We’re a hard-nosed team. The record might not show it right now, but if you look at the film, you know we fight all the way through the end. We never give up. That’s what it is going to be. It’s going to be a dog fight every game through the rest of the season and through the rest of the time here.”
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