Bears defenders miss having Khalil Mack around

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Bears players have had a lot to adjust to this offseason.

The team changed coaches and General Managers, saw wide receiver Allen Robinson leave as a free agent, released a number of veterans, and traded edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers. The last of those moves was a top of conversation for a couple of Bears defensive players from the team’s voluntary minicamp on Wednesday.

Defensive end Trevis Gipson said the trade “sort of bothered me a little bit because I stole a lot of information from him” about how to carry himself as an NFL player. Gipson noted that any bother he felt was mitigated by his knowledge that “it’s a business” and linebacker Roquan Smith expressed a similar mix of emotions about Mack’s departure.

“Hey, it sucks seeing one of your guys go, one of the leaders,” Smith said, via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “But hey, life goes on. I know he’s gonna do well out there in L.A. You know, a healthy Mack is a damn good player, as we all know.”

Mack wasn’t healthy last season and the Bears’ new regime opted to kick off their run by moving his salary to a team that looks closer to competing in the near term. If they can use the money freed up and the picks acquired from the Chargers to push the team back up the standings, the long view of the decision should be a positive one.

Bears defenders miss having Khalil Mack around originally appeared on Pro Football Talk