LAKE FOREST – In a near perfect game for the Bears, it was the one moment to forget.
But Akiem Hicks chose to remember it a week after it happened – and he got up in front of the team to start the Dolphins week by discussing it.
The subject was his ejection in the second quarter against the Bucs for bumping an official. Only the wide view cameras of the play caught the act, with everyone else finding out after it was surprisingly announced following Eddie Jackson’s interception.
Hicks would miss the rest of the 48-10 win over Tampa Bay, with his strong presence on the line not much in need. But the incident made the defensive end unhappy, so he took some time to speak to the Bears as they started practice this week.
“I wanted in-house to understand how I felt about the situation and how I wanted to react better than I had on the field,” said Hicks of his discussion with the team. “I know there is a lot of young guys that look up to me on this team and it’s hypocritical of me to go out there and do things like that and come back to the locker room and think everything is gravy. It doesn’t work that way.
“So I wanted to make sure how our guys knew how I felt about the situation.”
Hicks described the last two weeks as a reflective time on his penalty and ejection. He was fined for the action but avoided a suspension, but the defensive end understood just how serious the foul could have been.
“I just I just look more at the possible penalties – what could have happened, the damage I could have done to our team. Let’s say we’re third-and-short, and I got a penalty like that, and now they’ve got a first down and a chance to win the game. It’s those things you have to be more disciplined with.”
It’s Miller Time – Again
One player who was also missing from the fun against the Buccaneers was wide receiver Anthony Miller. He was out recovering from a shoulder injury against the Cardinals, forced to watch all the fun happening against Tampa Bay.
But with a shoulder harness, Miller will return to the Bears’ lineup against Miami after missing just that game against Tampa Bay, hoping to make his mark again on the offense.
The rookie had eight receptions for 60 yards in the first three games of his career and might have been a bit jealous he didn’t get to partake in the offensive display. Yet Miller denied that, choosing to look ahead to duplicating that performance against Miami this Sunday.
“We’ve been waiting for our offense to click. Our chemistry is getting better and better each and every week and just to see guys ‘eat’ out there, just to watch it – it was amazing,” said Miller. “I’m just glad I could be apart of it this week.
When Mack Returns, People Know
There are few Bears players in the history of the franchise who have made as big of an impact as Khalil Mack has so fast in their early tenure with the team.
The way the linebacker plays his position along with the productions – four strip sacks in four games – has made him the star attraction of a defense that currently ranks second in total yardage allowed in the league. His jersey has been the highest-selling in the league since he joined the Bears the week before the season, and his impact has raised the hopes of the franchise.
For Mack, there is one drawback to his play. That would be his new-found fame. When asked about how he caught up on his move to Chicago during the bye week, he was asked how often he gets recognized.
You could say it happens a bit.
“I didn’t know Chicago was real aggressive, its real aggressive out here,” said Mack, answering in the affirmative if fans notice him when he’s out. “Yeah, everybody kinda recognizes you but it’s a good feeling.”
STAT OF THE WEEK: 3-1
The Bears All-Time record against the Dolphins when facing them at Hard Rock Stadium. They picked up wins in 1994, 1997, and 2010, with the only loss coming in 2002.
When facing the Dolphins at the Orange Bowl, the Bears were 0-3. including the perfect-record snapping loss on Monday Night Football in Miami in 1985