Danny Trevathan puts Bears opponents on alert: ‘We’re coming for them’

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Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan (59) and defensive tackle John Jenkins (73) tackle Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) in the Bears’ 33-7 victory last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. (Gary Landers/AP)

The Bears’ defense hasn’t taken the quantum leap it had hoped for this season — injuries have played a significant part in that — but linebacker Danny Trevathan feels pretty good about laying a foundation to build upon.

“We’re still young,” Trevathan said. “So [many] young guys stepping up. You don’t even see the older guys that are normally out there. You see the young guys getting better. It’s just going to make our defense better and make our team better.

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“That’s what I’m hopeful for, just getting better. People are noticing around the league how well we’re playing together. We’re coming for them.”

Are people around the NFL really noticing the Bears’ defense?

“They better,” Trevathan said. “We’re not playing [around]. It might not look that way. But we’re a tough defense and a tough team. So bring your A-game.”

That might be overstating it a bit, but Trevathan has earned the right to think big and talk tough. His return from a calf injury two weeks ago has helped right a listing ship and given the Bears’ defense a chance to finish strong despite missing four or more Week 1 starters.

The Bears have allowed one touchdown in two games since Trevathan returned. They did allow 388 yards and five field goals in a 15-14 loss to the 49ers. But they held the Bengals to 234 yards in a 33-7 rout at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s 59.7 passer rating was his lowest since Week 1. He came in with a 103.2 rating (20 touchdown passes, four interceptions) in his previous 10 games.

And they did it without seven Week 1 regulars: nose tackle Eddie Goldman, defensive end Mitch Unrein, outside linebackers Leonard Floyd, Willie Young and Pernell McPhee, inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman and safety Quintin Demps.

Trevathan has led the Bears with double-digit tackles in both games — 11 against the 49ers, 10 against the Bengals. Coordinator Vic Fangio was succinct when asked about the difference Trevathan makes.

“He’s fast,” Fangio said. “He’s got more range than our other [inside linebackers], as far as getting to plays and closing speed to make a play. We missed him when he was out those four games. He’s playing good for us. And he does provide some leadership.”

That’s an intangible that can’t be overlooked on a defense that is missing so many key players.

“Absolutely,” inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski said. “Just his leadership [makes a difference]. He makes a point that everyone’s on the same page at all times. It starts in practice. Everyone kind of does that, but he [emphasizes] it. He has real good attention to detail with those types of things. He just kind of brings everybody together. It’s not any one specific thing — just little things that carry over to the game and make a big [difference].”

Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

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