The Bears went through business as usual Monday morning. Coach Matt Nagy addressed his players, who also met with their position coaches for their standard exit interview.
In the past, when the Bears have fired a head coach, or general manager, it’s been early morning the day after the season. Monday morning, though, was quiet, one day after the Bears’ 21-9 loss to the Saints in the first round of the playoffs.
Speaking to the team at Halas Hall, Nagy addressed both the season and coronavirus challenges, which the Bears navigated well. Only one starter, Cody Whitehair, missed one game because of a positive test. Another, nose tackle Eddie Goldman opted out before the season.
“[Nagy said], you know, just basically, that we obviously didn’t finish how we wanted to, but at the same time, we have a resilient group,” receiver Allen Robinson said Monday. “I think with everything going on, guys have made a lot of sacrifices this season, obviously with the COVID testing. We had some people opt out, guys risking, being away from their families and things like that. So a lot of guys put a lot on the line this year.
“Regardless, that’s no excuse for us coming up short, but at the same time, I think everybody can acknowledge with the craziness of this year how guys had to prepare, how guys had to go about things, not being with their families for the holidays. Guys sacrificed and put a lot on the line this year.”
Tight end Cole Kmet detailed what he gleaned from Nagy’s address.
“You’ve got to learn from this,” he said. “Everything that you go through, you’ve got to learn. We learned from yesterday, we learned from our actions. This is stuff that applies not just to football but to life. You’ve just got to be able to learn from every situation that’s handed to you.”
After making the playoffs, the Bears need to take the next step, center Sam Mustipher said.
“Learning from it is the most important thing,” Mustipher said. “We have to learn from it and grow from it so that when we get the opportunity to be back there, if we do get that opportunity, that we’ll be better prepared for it. And it’ll be because what happened yesterday.”