Pernell McPhee is not about to lose his fire even as the Bears flounder
CHICAGO – He’s that motivational podcast that plays on Monday morning. Maybe he’s the extra espresso shot in your coffee or an energy drink when you’ve hit the wall at noon.
Bears fans have needed that every Thursday, Sunday or Monday morning they’ve taken the field this season. Perhaps an adult beverage or two was consumed once a majority of them came to an end.
Yet for every feeling of fatigue or hangover of defeat, there is Pernell McPhee. The fire at the start of the season might be gone for the team’s rooters, but not for the outside linebacker who’s not afraid to let his passionate words fly.
“We’ve got to be grown men and man up,” said McPhee when asked about the loss of Kyle Long for the season and Alshon Jeffery for four games due to suspension as the Bears prepare for the Giants this week.
Those were just part of a nightmare weekend in which the Bears lost to the Buccanneers by 26 points. But no morose feelings in the locker room or the fan base were gonna keep McPhee from being somewhat defiant in his expectations for the defense.
A reporter asked McPhee about his team’s plan to attack a New York offensive line that’s yielded just 13 sacks this season.
“We’re gonna tear their (expletive) up,” said McPhee of the Giants. “I don’t care what everybody else did. We’re gonna sack him. He can throw the ball how many times he wants. We’re gonna sack him. I’m gonna make sure of that.”
They are bold statements from a member of a team that is 2-7 on the season and just gave up a season-high in points on Sunday against the Buccaneers. They are 4-5 while the Giants, whom McPhee declared would not have a great day against the Bears, are 6-3.
But that’s Pernell, the outspoken member of a team that primarily sticks to the company line even as the season has crumbled due to inconsistent play and a rash of injuries.
Sitting out the first six games with knee troubles, the linebacker continues to make his feelings known to his teammates. Even when he was injured McPhee made headlines on the field in Week 2 when he confronted Jay Cutler after an interceptions against the Eagles.
When he returned the linebacker continued to do what he could to motivate his team while bringing an increased pass rush to the Bears’ defense. In his first extended playing time of the season against the Vikings on October 31st, McPhee had a sack, forced fumble, along with a message after the Bears’ surprise victory.
“Yesterday, Monday, I told the guys the main thing is to stay pissed off,” said McPhee before the bye week. “Know where we at and know where we could go. The sky is the limit, the only thing we have to do is stay focused.”
A bad loss that likely ends the small hopes of a playoff berth after that Vikings win isn’t about to stop McPhee or his creative rhetoric as the final seven games of the season lie ahead.
“Just stay in our playbook, when we go to practice, man, try to make it perfect, man” said McPhee. “We’ve got to practice perfection to be where we want to be.”
Don’t think Pernell’s gonna stop trying making that happen. You’ll hear about it soon enough.