MONSTER’S MASH: The art of the celebration

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Improvisation is not only important during the play but after it, too.

The relaxation of the celebration rules in the NFL have helped this out, and with the Bears’ experiencing success after a nearly decade playoff doubt, they’re taking advantage.

You’ve seen the picture-taking by the offense and the defense in the end zone after big plays. The defense took it a step further in the second half on a Prince Amukamara interception, when they headed to the endzone for a quick “Double Dutch” game.

With Amukamara in the middle, Adrian Amos and Eddie Jackson pretended to spin the jump rope. Still holding the ball, the cornerback started jumping around as if he were trying to avoid the rope going around him.

It wasn’t his idea, and he admitted to being hesitant at first, but Amukamara has embraced these ways to celebrate a turnover just like the rest of his teammates.

“I think we’re all trying to be creative and come up with something,” said Amukamara, who said that Jackson came up with the “Double Dutch” idea after the interception. “I think by doing that it kinda motivates us to get the ball so we can do something fun.”

It certainly seems like they’re trying to celebrate as much as they can, considering they’ve forced 8 fumbles and picked off 16 passes this season. Their 24 takeaways are second in the NFL, a far cry from their 11 in 2016 that tied for the lowest in NFL history in a 16-game season.

While the fumbles and interceptions are byproducts of a strong Vic Fangio defense, the celebrations are pure improvisation.

“There’s some much going on in your mind out there; I’m just happy I’ve got guys like that can coordinate and got talent like that, man,” said linebacker Danny Trevathan of the celebrations. “I’m not really good at that but I play my role and I’m just having fun with these guys. That’s all I look forward to – whatever they got, I’m with it.”

Adam is Back

One of the offseason questions for Matt Nagy was his ability to use a second-year Bears’ tight end effectively in his system.

An ankle injury in the preseason put that off, but now it appears that Adam Shaheen may finally get a chance to show his stuff.

On Saturday, the Bears activated the tight end of Injured Reserve and put him onto the active roster. Dion Sims, who has been dealing with a concussion, has been put on IR in Shaheen’s place.

Thought of as one of the players who would find success in Nagy’s offense, serve as the No. 2 tight end behind Trey Burton, and fill a void left by Zach Miller, Shaheen was knocked out the first half of the year with an ankle injury suffered against the Bengals in the preseason.

It was a blow to the progress of the tight end from Ashland, who showed promise by making 12 catches and scoring three touchdowns in his first season. It’s unclear if he’ll be active for Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

 

The Century Season

There are a few reasons for Bears fans to not look ahead for the first time in a while.

The team is 6-3 on this season, creating their first legitimate playoff chance since 2013. A continuing growing offense is teaming with an elite defense to make the Bears a potential Super Bowl darkhorse this season.

Yet there is some anticipation already for 2019 – and it’s not just because a number of the players on this year’s team will likely return.

That season will be the 100th for the Bears as an NFL franchise, a major milestone that usually brings about a year-long celebration. Indeed that will be the case, and that includes a logo, of course.

This will be worn on the jerseys for the 2019 season, with team chairman George McCaskey saying at a news conference Thursday that a special throwback jersey will be used during the season.

Along with weekly tributes to eras of the team, the Bears will have a “Bears 100” Celebration Weekend at the Rosemont Convention Center from June 7-9th.

STAT OF THE WEEK: 1

The number of players on the injury chart this entire week for the Bears as recent good luck with injuries continues.

That was Sims, who was placed on IR.