Monday, June 17, 2024

Two Players Have Reportedly Gotten Gervon Dexter Into “Track Shape”

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Matt Eberflus didn’t need long to notice something different about Gervon Dexter when the defensive tackle arrived for OTAs and minicamps. He was in far better condition. His body had slimmed down and he moved with far more quickness and grace than his rookie season. This is exactly what the Chicago Bears coaches wanted to see. Defensive line coach Travis Smith challenged Dexter to come back a different person, according to Larry Mayer of Chicagobears.com. Those words struck the defensive tackle.

He had a problem, though. If Dexter was going to succeed in that mission, he had to develop a plan. Coaches and trainers wouldn’t be able to help him directly until he returned for practices. That meant installing his own process of working his body into true NFL shape. Rather than stumble half-blind through crafting one, Dexter reached out for advice. He didn’t ask the coaches. They couldn’t really help with that. Instead, he reached out to two of his most esteemed teammates.

Smith challenged Dexter to an additional offseason task: “Don’t come back the same person.”

“The day we left, coach Trav told me, ‘When you come back, I don’t want to notice you. I don’t want you to look the same, walk the same, talk the same,'” Dexter told ChicagoBears.com. “That was his thing to me. So, I made that my goal.”

With the help of veteran teammates like defensive end Montez Sweat and cornerback Jaylon Johnson, Dexter curated a specific plan to achieve that goal while back home in Orlando, Fla…

…Dexter’s goal was to be in “track shape” to ensure he could “run and play a whole game.”

“It was important for me just because that’s what’s expected for this team,” Dexter said. “And this being my second year, that’s what is expected from the guys, the D-line. Coach Flus preaches ‘the backside wins championships,’ so I want to make sure I’m ready when my number is called. I wanted to make sure when I came back, I was ready to step into a role.”

Gervon Dexter understands the fundamental truth of football.

Players in the best physical condition are often rewarded the most. It is the ones making the plays late in the 4th quarter who get recognized. It’s not about toughness. If you want to thrive in this sport, you must be in great shape. That goes double for playing in Eberflus’ defense. For it to work, all 11 players must fly to the football on every play. It requires constant effort and intensity. You won’t get either if the players are gassed by halftime. Dexter wants no part of that. Sweat and Johnson both have established reputations for being deadly for all four quarters. They are the perfect ones to ask.

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It appears their advice was heeded. Gervon Dexter arrived at minicamps in peak shape. That doesn’t figure to change once training camp begins next month. He should be excited. With Justin Jones out of the way, Dexter stands to inherit the starting three-technique position next to Sweat on the defensive line. That is a great honor and responsibility in this defense. It was a big reason the Bears drafted him. They saw this potential from the start. It is his time to seize the moment.

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TGena
TGena
Jun 17, 2024 6:03 pm

@PoochPost — We often agree, particularly when it comes to the importance of coaches operating as teachers; and players in the role of attentive, highly motivated students. But, here’s where we part ways: You seem to think NE and GB’s O-line coaches were somehow not vital to their respective teams. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dante Scarnecchia 76, (the “NE Patriots Hall of Famer” coached for 34 years; and served 13 years as NE’s Assistant HC/OL coach, 2000-2013) Even in his last stint, solely as the Pats’ OL coach (2016-2019) Dante was considered by many to be the… Read more »

PoochPest
PoochPest
Jun 17, 2024 8:24 am

@TGena Thanks for calling me out. In sports discussions, we sometimes get carried away in saying “the best,” or “the worst,” and it takes time to make that determination. You’re right to point out that the Bears best players were all drafted elsewhere, but I would continue on that line, to point out that they were coached from their invariable college imperfections to NFL standards – by someone else’s coaching staff and then traded to the Bears – for draft choices. That isn’t entirely true, for the entire Bears team – the track record of developing defensive players is remarkable,… Read more »

TGena
TGena
Jun 16, 2024 10:17 am

@PoochPest — Recently, you wrote: “TGena is absolutely wrong about Ryan Poles making bad picks. But GM Poles deserves enormous blame for excusing and ignoring bad coaching and bad oversight.” My stated problem(s) with GM, Poles: “Ryan Poles an inept judge of NFL talent, proficiency and value.” That applies to both — players and coaches. Poles made my point by dismissing the 2023 Bears coaching staff, en masse — with the sole exception of OL coach, Chris “C-Mo” Morgan — my favorite candidate for: “Chicago Bears Worst Coach.” All NFL GMs have made picks that end badly. But Poles seems… Read more »

Gator Joe
Jun 16, 2024 6:03 am

I think he meant “marathon shape” as in run all day. Can’t tell you how many times I have seen D-linemen gassed after about 6-7 plays in a drive, especially when an offense is running no-huddle or “tempo” as the morons on TV call it now (I think they mean “up tempo”). Conditioning is something Flus has preached for his whole career. Go back and watch Lovie’s early 2000s defenses and you will see 11 guys running to the football. The team speed on D was incredible. We need to get back to that and get rid of the lazy… Read more »

jmscooby
Jun 15, 2024 9:04 pm

“The backside wins championships.”

Don’t lose the forest for the trees. Philly got their backsides embarrassed by KC in that SB. Ask the Eagles how important that sentence is above.

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