Trevis Gipson looked like a young player poised for a breakout season in 2022. He’d had seven sacks the year prior while playing a position he was never a great fit for. The arrival of Matt Eberflus meant he’d shift back to 4-3 defensive end, which he always felt fit his style the best. His expectations were high going into the season. It certainly started well. Gipson dropped Aaron Rodgers twice in Week 2 against Green Bay. Nobody, least of all him, could’ve expected he would go the next 13 games without another sack.
Yet that is what happened. It was a baffling string of weeks filled with frustration. Gipson spoke to Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune and vividly recalled five moments just off the top of his head where he had sacks that slipped through his fingers.
“Every single one of them,” Gipson said. “Miami Dolphins, I had an open one waiting for me on Tua (Tagavailoa). Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen, I missed two. Against Philadelphia I missed one. Shoot, even against the Lions the second time we played, I missed one that was right there. Close but not close enough.”
The ultimate humiliation was seeing Jaquan Brisker, a safety, finish with more sacks than him.
However, time gave the fourth-year player a chance to reflect. Upon reviewing the film, he began to realize that the downturn in production may have been a blessing in disguise. It forced him to watch his tape more carefully. That is when he reached a realization.
🔥 Check Out The BFR Podcast: Listen Now🎙
“It was humbling, man,” Gipson said. “Having the success I had my second season, I thought it was all on the way up. But that’s not how it went.”
Those struggles irked Gipson.
“But I’m appreciative now,” he said. “It may sound crazy, but I am appreciative for how it went because it exposed some of the weaker spots in my game last year that I can dial in on now.”
The Bears seem to think Trevis Gipson isn’t a lost cause.
If they did, they likely would’ve been far more aggressive hunting for help at edge rusher. Recent reports suggest the team is leaving the door open for him to rebound. If he does, they are fully prepared to offer him a contract extension. That is how much Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles seem to like him. They must’ve seen the same things on tape he did. His regression had nothing to do with a lack of effort or a sagging work ethic. It was more about technical issues mixed with a position switch.
His body should be reconfigured to a defensive end type now. He should know the defensive system far better and what his responsibilities are. Together with what should be a significantly improved run defense thanks to bigger and stronger defensive tackles, it should maximize his opportunities to get after the quarterback. Motivation won’t be a problem. The humiliation of last year, combined with the looming shadow of his contract, make this a do-or-die scenario.