All the talk of early Chicago Bears practices is the status of Robert Quinn or the intrigue of rookie Dominique Robinson. Quinn is hounded by trade rumors and hasn’t shown up to practices yet. Robinson has stepped up in his absence and looked solid. It is incredible how little attention Trevis Gipson has gotten this off-season. Especially after he delivered an impressive second year collecting seven sacks.
Yet nobody talks about him. Under normal circumstances, Bears fans would be bringing his name up incessantly. Mainly after Khalil Mack was traded to the Chargers. Instead, the previous whirlwind few months that saw a new GM and new coaching staff arrive made it difficult to keep track of everything. Gipson was lost in the shuffle. However, his new coaches have high hopes for them. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, they even think the changes they have planned for the defense will benefit him more than most.
Smith believes the switch to a 4-3 front could benefit Gipson, who played with his hand in the dirt in college at Tulsa before the previous coaching staff converted him to outside linebacker.
“The first thing with Gipson I noticed is he has a very good awareness of the quarterback,” Smith said. “He had a lot of ball production last year. That’s not something that just comes naturally to everyone.
“He has good awareness that when you’re an edge rusher, that if guys get high in the pocket, he can come back inside. Or if he has the edge, then he can turn it, where then he can affect that quarterback and also go for the ball.”
Trevis Gipson never felt like a pure outside linebacker.
Though a good athlete, his primary strengths were when he was going forward. He’s rarely had much use going laterally or backward. He dominated his senior year as a 4-3 defensive end at Tulsa, collecting eight sacks and 15 tackles for a loss in 12 games. He was a huge reason that team upset heavily favored UCF 34-31, collecting two sacks and two tackles for a loss. When he’s allowed to attack, it is difficult to stop him.
That is what the Bears plan to do. Matt Eberflus’ defense is built around letting the defensive line play up the field. Harass the quarterback at every opportunity. There will be far fewer drops into coverage for Trevis Gipson. His job will be to set the edge against the run and do what he does best by putting the QB on his back. Remember that he got those seven sacks on just 229 total pass rush snaps in 2021.
Eberflus’ Colts defense had two defensive ends that went for 457 and 399, respectively, last season. Imagine what Gipson might do with an extra 200 chances.