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Yannick Ngakoue hopes to re-establish himself as one of ‘fiercest competitors' in the NFL

Yannick Ngakoue hopes to re-establish himself as one of ‘fiercest competitors' in the NFL originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Yannick Ngakoue is looking to jump back into the NFL after having his 2023 season stolen from him on account of breaking his ankle with the Bears during Week 14.

But he isn't thinking about offer sheets or contracts. He's focused on climbing back to his elite potential.

“Honestly, I haven’t really been thinking about an offer or details in specific at all,” Ngakoue told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday. “The only thing I’ve been thinking about is taking that grass again and re-establishing myself on the field as one of the fiercest competitors in the game today.

"That’s the only thing on my mind. Everything else will come after that. I have to re-establish myself and remind people of why I’m one of the best [pass] rushers. That’s the only thing on my mind.”

Ngakoue signed a one-year deal with the Bears ahead of the 2023 season worth $10.5 million. The Bears hoped to round out their defensive line with a proven veteran.

Leading up to his stint with the Bears, Ngakoue had recorded at minimum eight sacks in every season of his career. Unfortunately, he fell short of that mark with the Bears, in part because of his ankle injury. He finished with four sacks.

Recently, Ngakoue flashed his healthy ankle in a workout video he posted to social media with the caption "What ankle?" The video shows him sprinting around angled cones, mimicking quick first steps off the line of scrimmage.

The Bears could use defensive line help, as they barely adjusted the trenches since acquiring Montez Sweat via trade at the previous NFL trade deadline. They traded back into the 2024 NFL Draft to take Kansas edge Austin Booker in the fifth round. But they haven't done much besides that.

Teams have already started OTAs (Organized Team Activities) and training camp is on the horizon. It's not easy being a free agent this late into NFL free agency.

But Ngakoue has faith that everything will work out how it's supposed to for him.

“I feel like everything’s going to work out just perfectly,” Ngakoue said. “Like I said, everything happens for a reason. God is a perfect planner, and the end of the day, I’m just focused on myself, just focused on how can I get better, focusing on things that I could have done better last year. At the end of the day, I make no excuses.

“I just hope that I’m somewhere before training camp starts because everyone needs to go through a training camp in order to have the kind of season they want to have. It’s just like a boxer at the end of the day. If you don’t have a proper training camp, you can go into the ring and get knocked out. So it’s all about preparation. The only thing that I’m worried about is being able to help an organization, help out the young guys and guys that are veterans as well to be able to get a Super Bowl ring and just bring great energy to that building wherever I’m at.”

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