Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
I’ll be in Paris when the Bears are playing in London and I really want to go to the game. When are tickets minus the travel packages going to be released?
Tickets for the Bears-Raiders game on Sunday, Oct. 6 in London are set to go on sale at 4 a.m. (CT) this Thursday. You can get them at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/nfl. The Bears have previously played two games in London, both at Wembley Stadium. They beat the Cowboys 17-6 in a preseason contest on Aug. 2, 1986 and defeated the Buccaneers 24-18 in a regular-season clash on Oct. 23, 2011. This year’s game will be held at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which opened in April in north London. It’s the home of the Tottenham Hotspur, a soccer team in the English Premier League. The stadium has a capacity of 62,062, nearly identical to Soldier Field (61,500). It will be the first NFL game played at the new facility.
Are you concerned at all about the Bears being overconfident this season? I mean, no one really expected them to go 12-4 last year, and now everyone considers them Super Bowl contenders.
The reason I’m not concerned about that is Matt Nagy. The Bears coach does a great job of keeping his players hungry and focused on only what’s right in front of them, and one of his main goal’s coming off of last year’s success is to guard against complacency. Here’s what he recently said about the team’s mentality: “We’re going to be very confident. It’s not cocky. It’s confidence. I love that. I don’t want anything different. That’s who we are as coaches. That’s who they are as players. I’ll never take that away from them, that confidence. But that said, once we get to training camp and we put the pads on and we start creating our 2019 identity … we’re 0-0. I know there’s buzz right now around who we are and everything, and I get it. That’s part of it. But we haven’t done anything, and this is a new year. We’re no longer 12-5. We’re 0-0 and we have to go 1-0.”
Who would you say was a returning player who really stepped up his game in offseason practices from last year?
The first player who comes to my mind is second-year receiver Javon Wims. He saw limited action as a rookie, appearing in just four games. He didn’t really get a chance to play until the season finale in Minnesota and he responded in that game by catching all four passes thrown his way for 32 yards. The 2018 seventh-round pick continued his momentum in the offseason, performing well during OTAs and minicamp. Here’s what coach Matt Nagy recently had to say about Wims: “This game is about opportunities and he’s got a great opportunity in front of him.” Javon is a guy who knows all of our positions. He’s smart, he’s got great hands, and you saw last year at the end of that Minnesota Vikings game, he made some big catches.”