LAKE FOREST – One of the great things about taking the long trip overseas for a football game is the chance to play tourist for a little bit.
The Bears get to do that in London this week as they face the Raiders at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday. They arrived in England on Friday, and while they must keep their minds on football, there is sometime to check out the city.
There’s one thing that head coach Matt Nagy found fascinating when he went to London with the Chiefs in late October and early November of 2015 to face the Lions. It came up in a story the coach told at his Thursday news conference at Halas Hall.
“We were walking out to practice yesterday and we were talking about the ‘Changing of the Guard.’ When I went a few years ago; I’m fascinated by that kind of stuff, I don’t know how a human being can sit there and do that all day,” said Nagy. “To me, that’s crazy, but it’s pretty cool.”
“I just sat there like a little kid, just staring and just seeing it, and these people don’t even blink, right?”
Where this story gets good is the challenge that running back Tarik Cohen took from it. The Queen’s Royal Guard in England notoriously don’t move when they’re on post guarding the royal residences in London.
Some try to get a reaction, but almost always fail. Yet it’s a challenge that the second year running back is compelled to try.
“Well I was telling Tarik that yesterday and I said ‘You realized that these guys, they’re pretty impressive, and he goes ‘Ah, nah, I’ll definitely get them to move,'” said Nagy. “I looked at him, and he goes ‘Coach, I’m funny.’ That’s who he is.”
Cohen didn’t back down from his belief when asked about the story by reporters later Thursday afternoon.
“Yeah, I think I can break them, it’s something I’m pretty good at,” said Cohen of his comic abilities. “Make him like his job a little more than he does.”
SOME GOOD “NEXT MEN” TO STEP UP
While the starters certainly did their part, one could argue the Bears’ victory on Sunday wouldn’t have happened if not for some inspired play from their backups.
Chase Daniel, Ted Larsen then Rashaad Coward, and Javon Wims filled in well on offense. Nick Kwiatkoski, Nick Williams, and Kevin Pierre-Louis were great on defense. All replaced starters in a 16-6 win over the Vikings, which spoke to the Bears’ depth built over the last few years.
Some of those players will have to fill in this week as well, with some of those starters already out another week and some questionable. For Williams, who had two sacks against the Vikings in the win, performing well is a responsibility that the backups have to the starters for a tight-knit group.
“We’ve got each other’s backs in here,” said Williams. “We’ve got some guys down, especially in the defensive line room with Bilal (Nichols) and Akiem (Hicks) out. It’s just ‘Next Man Up,’ we’ve got their backs, and we’re going to go out and put out best football out on the field.”
NO TAYLOR, AGAIN
Chase Daniel won’t have one of his receivers this week as he continues to recover from a concussion.
Taylor Gabriel didn’t make the trip to Europe, putting him out for a second-straight week after suffering the injury in the second half of the Bears’ win over the Redskins. Gabriel had caught three in the first half of the game
Ted Larsen also didn’t make the trip as he deals with a knee injury.
Tyler Bray was officially signed from the practice squad to backup Mitchell Trubisky, who will miss Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury.
STAT OF THE WEEK – 93.7
Daniel’s quarterback rating during his time with the Bears, having seen action in six games so far in his year-and-a-half with the team.