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Jackson confident Bears will 'rally around each other'


According to veteran safety Eddie Jackson, the Bears' most lopsided loss since a 2014 blowout in Green Bay has not damaged team morale.

"I feel like that has a lot to do with the type of guys we have in the locker room," Jackson said Tuesday, two days after a deflating 38-3 defeat to the Buccaneers in Tampa. "We all rally around each other; we all pick each other up. We don't let no one walk around and hold their head down no matter how tough the times get."

The Bears have shown resiliency this season, twice rebounding from 20-point losses to win their next game. They followed a 34-14 defeat to the Rams with a 20-17 victory over the Bengals and a 26-6 setback to the Browns with a 24-14 win over the Lions. Another bounce-back victory against the 49ers Sunday at Soldier Field would improve their record to 4-4.

"It's still early on in the season," Jackson said. "We have 10 games left and there's a lot of football to be played. We just want to continue to rally around each other. We know we have to go out there and continue to play fast, fly around and make plays. That's the mindset for us and we want to keep that all season long."

The offense has struggled this season, averaging just 14.4 points per game. Against the Buccaneers, the unit failed to score a touchdown and committed five turnovers. Nevertheless, Jackson insists the defense doesn't feel any additional pressure.

"No, because I feel like our mindset every week is to go out there and dominate," he said. "Honestly, we don't care what the offense is doing. We put it in our mind that we have to go out there and win the game as the defense. That's just our mindset going into the game. No matter what they do, we have to go out there and clean it up, make our plays and win the game on defense."

Peters in "tip-top" shape

It's no surprise that it took a few weeks for veteran left tackle Jason Peters to get into football shape. The 39-year-old future Hall of Famer, who is in his 18th NFL season, didn't sign with the Bears until Aug. 16.

"I can definitely say right now I'm in tip-top shape," Peters said. "The third game, I got my legs back under me 100 percent.

"Any time you come to a new team and you're two weeks from being out of training camp and you're about to start the season, you've just got to get your legs up under you. And no matter what kind of sprint conditioning drills you do, it's not with the pads on and you're going against somebody.

"It's a very intense 4-5 seconds you're going and you've got to do that about 60-70 times [per game], so it's totally different with the conditioning as far as sprints and putting the pads on for training camp."

Peters feels that he has created some cohesiveness with rookie quarterback Justin Fields, a dual threat who often extends plays with his mobility.

"I'll definitely say I'm on a better page with him when he's dropping back on certain dropbacks," Peters said. "When we first started, I was kind of not in sync with him, but now it's definitely better. We've just got to block for him longer. Whatever we've got to do, we've got a young guy, block for him, if it's five seconds, six seconds. That way he can make a play."

Fields was under constant pressure in Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers, who registered four sacks and six quarterback hits.

"You've just got to go back and try to fix the things that you're doing wrong as an individual first," Peters said when asked about improvement from the offensive line. "You fix yourself first, you pretty much get the team better. As a whole, we've just all gotta look at ourselves as an individual and then look at ourselves as a group and see what we're doing wrong. We're definitely having a bunch of mistakes and we've just gotta get them fixed."