Bears' Jaylon Johnson: Some players starting to quit on season

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Jaylon Johnson: Some Bears going 'into the tank' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

One of Matt Nagy’s best qualities has been his ability to keep the Bears locker room together and focused through many different forms of adversity. But according to one of his players, that might not be the case four years in, with a 4-9 record this season.

“You have the side of the locker room that is starting to go into the tank,” Jaylon Johnson said on an episode of the Red Line Radio podcast. “Then you have the guys that are still trying to fight, and figure out how we can get better. At the end of the day that’s the name of the game: trying to get better each and every week.”

It’s the first time we’ve heard any inkling of players quitting on the season. When erroneous reports of Nagy’s imminent firing emerged ahead of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game against the Lions, players and coaches alike were adamant that Nagy had not lost the locker room, and that they were still playing hard. They ended up winning the following game as well.

When asked about Johnson’s assessment on Friday, players and coaches once again denied the idea that some Bears had started phoning it in.

“I don’t see no quit in this locker room,” said Tashaun Gipson. “It’s a tough season. When you’re losing everything seems to be bad. When you’re winning, everything is going good. Everyone is happy. There’s no disruption. It’s just a big happy family. Obviously, losing causes for people to look in the mirror.

“There’s no quit in this locker room. Obviously no one wants to go on national TV and get embarrassed. Obviously we have another prime time game Monday night. Sunday night didn’t go the way we wanted. So I think guys’ pride is big enough to understand that, hey, you still gotta go out there and do a job.”

Defensive coordinator Sean Desai agreed.

“I think you saw in that game our guys are competitors and I think they’re going to fight and claw for everything that they’ve got,” Desai said.

A video from Sunday Night’s game against the Packers goes against what Desai said however, and opened up a debate online as to whether cracks in the Bears’ resolve were beginning to show on the field.

Allen Robinson is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, so he hasn't had an opportunity to respond to that play.

Regardless, Gipson acknowledged that he’s played on some pretty bad teams before, and he's seen things on those teams that indicated to him players had started to quit. Gipson reiterated that he hasn’t seen those things in Chicago yet.

“Nobody's packed it up,” Gipson said. “I’d be the first guy to tell you. I’ve been on teams where guys are shipping their cars and getting ready. Right around this time right now, cars are getting shipped back home. That’s not the case. I’m still driving my same car here. So I ain’t shipped my car home. I still feel like we have a lot to play for.”

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