Bobby Massie is convinced that the Bears will rebound from their bitter wild-card playoff loss to the Eagles and contend for the Super Bowl.
That was one of the main reasons the veteran right tackle opted to sign a four-year contract extension with the Bears Jan. 26 rather than explore the free-agent market.
"It meant the world to me to get it done because I didn't want to leave Chicago," Massie said on the Bears All-Access radio show on WSCR-AM 670. "Chicago is where I wanted to be. This team is going to be good. The Super Bowl is coming to this team and I just didn't want to leave Chicago on that note (losing to the Eagles)."
Massie originally joined the Bears in 2016 after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He has started 46 of 48 games in three seasons in Chicago, including all 16 in 2018 for a team that went 12-4 and won the NFC North championship.
This past season Massie was part of an offensive line that allowed just 33 sacks, tied for the eighth fewest in the NFL, and helped the Bears score 24 or more points in 11 games, the most since they also produced at least 24 points 11 times in 1995.
The line excelled under the direction of coach Harry Hiestand, who returned to the Bears in 2018 for a second stint after spending the previous six seasons in the same role at Notre Dame. Hiestand initially coached the Bears line from 2005-09 under Lovie Smith.
"Harry is a great coach; he's one of the best coaches I've ever had," Massie said. "He just makes you work. He doesn't care what year you are or how much money you make; he's going to bring the best out of you."
The Bears offense drew only seven holding penalties in 2018, the fewest in the NFL. Massie, who was not flagged for holding, credits continuity on the line as well as Hiestand's constant emphasis on footwork and a "knuckles up" blocking philosophy.
"He doesn't want us grabbing guys, and just having us driving our feet every single day," Massie said. "We do the same drills a hundred miles an hour every single day. Coach Hiestand, all the credit goes to him."
With Massie's signing, the Bears have 21 of their 22 regular starters under contract. Safety Adrian Amos is the only first-teamer who is due to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins in March.
With so many players returning from a 12-4 division-championship team, Massie is confident that the Bears will contend for the Super Bowl.
"We can do some incredible things with the guys that we have and I'm sure some of the additions we're going to make in the offseason," Massie said. "We're going to be unstoppable. We were in every single game; unfortunately we came up short in a few. But this team in the future is going to be a force to be reckoned with."