Danny Trevathan has a lot of fight in him: ‘I’m not finished yet’

In great shape from an offseason boxing workout regimen, the Bears linebacker is as motivated as ever to prove last year’s slow start was a thing of the past. ‘‘Last year was last year,’’ he said.

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Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan had 113 tackles last season — second most on the team behind Roquan Smith (139).

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photos

After a tough start to the 2020 season that seemed to expose little of his advancing age, Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan was in no mood for reflection — looking only straight ahead at the future.

“Last year was last year,” he said. “I’m not really worried about that. But I know what to do this year, and I’m working my tail off. I know what I expect of myself, and I know what my team needs, and I’m going to give them all of that.” 

Trevathan, who was coming off elbow surgery entering last season, recovered from the slow start and finished with 113 tackles, the second most of his career. And he added a team-high 10 against the Saints in the playoff game in January. But at 31, he’ll be challenged to regain his top form in 2021.

So far, so good. Trevathan arrived at camp in great shape, has looked sharp on the practice field and appears motivated to prove any doubters wrong. 

In that respect, he picked an appropriate training regimen in the offseason: boxing. He worked out regularly at boxing facilities in Los Angeles and Florida and was encouraged by the results.

“Every game is a title fight,” Trevathan said when asked about the workouts. “I just wanted to incorporate stuff that I heard around the league was real good and that guys [who] recently played the position [talked about] — that it was good cardio and it works everything. So I’m expecting to continue that throughout the season.”

Trevathan looked a step slow and not in the best shape at the start of play in 2020. He’s still is a tactically efficient linebacker and was durable enough to play in all 16 games last year. But in his 10th NFL season, he needs every facet of his game to be at a peak level — strength, reflexes and endurance included. And the boxing helps.

“Just providing strength core, balance, being able to strike and get off and overall fight the fatigue — that’s something you get through boxing,” he said. “You have to keep going round for round for round. I think that’s why I am what I am.”

Trevathan remains a valuable asset to the Bears’ defense. They signed him to a three-year contract — and let a younger Nick Kwiatkoski go in free agency — at least in part because of his intangible impact as a leader of a top-10 unit. 

“We go through tough times — I go to him a lot,” coach Matt Nagy said. 

Like general manager Ryan Pace, Nagy acknowledged he was curious about what kind of shape Trevathan would be in entering camp at 31. 

“That was always a concern,” Nagy said. “Well, he came in great shape.”

Trevathan entered the league as a sixth-round draft choice (188th overall) with the Broncos in 2012, became a starter in Year 2 and was the leading tackler on the Broncos’ Super Bowl championship team in 2015. He’s as motivated as ever to keep it going.

“It’s all glory to God, first of all,” he said, “but it just goes to show, no matter how you get in, it’s all about how you finish. Don’t ever let anybody stop you. I was [drafted at] 188 — I carry that with me right now, and it’s still pushing me.

“I’m not finished yet. And it feels great, where I’m at right now. It feels great to have this defense and this team rocking right now. The Bears organization, they’re doing a great job of getting guys in here and still holding us accountable. And I’m looking forward to this year.”

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