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Trevathan leads Bears against old team


At the Bears' centennial celebration in Decatur this summer, Lance Briggs, one of the cogs of the previous great Bears defense, was asked whether he considered his play more akin to Roquan Smith or Khalil Mack.

In a sense, with which star linebacker do you identify?

Briggs paused before choosing to align himself with neither to the former defensive player of the year nor the precocious second-year player.

He told the crowd he saw himself the most in Danny Trevathan.

Trevathan loses some of the spotlight nationally on a defense with three All-Pros and promising young players, but inside the Bears locker room, the eight-year veteran makes his presence known. He's a bridge between the coaching staff and the roster.

"I really enjoy who he is as a person," said coach Matt Nagy. "He's a really good leader. Some people aren't made to be leaders. They don't want to be leaders. That's OK. Or they lead by their example, how they do things or actions. He's not one of those guys. He's not afraid to rally the troops, get them in, tell everybody where we went wrong. And the best part about Danny is he's very positive. He's a good role model for the young guys."

Trevathan is one of five Bears players in possession of a Super Bowl ring, along with Chase Daniel, Cordarrelle Patterson, Trey Burton and Prince Amukamara. As the leading tackler on the defense that powered the 2015 Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl, Trevathan has heard the comparisons between his old team and his current one.

Headed back to the city that launched his NFL career, Trevathan is not interested in talking too much about 2015.

"It's just another game because I'm trying to get to the next Super Bowl," said Trevathan. "I'm not really focused on that one. That's in my back pocket. Ain't nothing I can do about that. I've got to focus on this year."

However, he wouldn't call out anyone drawing a parallel between the two teams.

"I definitely see that," said Trevathan. "It's all about our attitude and our confidence. You gotta be confident. You gotta be kinda scary cocky."

The path to another ring can be rocky. After a Week 1 loss to the Packers, Trevathan has been instrumental in keeping his team confident. Coaches have called out his passion and optimism as being contagious among younger players.

"It's one game," said Trevathan. "We know what our offense can do. We know what our team, our special teams and our defense can do. It didn't show all the time, but it's flash. You take the good with the bad. Every other week you hit that restart button. You get back to where you try to push yourself and get better. All positive vibes, man."

"Positive vibes" has been a recurring theme for Trevathan. Facing his old team, coached by Vic Fangio, his defensive coordinator for the previous three seasons, Trevathan expects a warm greeting before the game.

"It's all love, baby," said Trevathan. "It's all love around here, man. I don't hold no grudges, none of that stuff, but come game time--once that clock gets ticking--anything that moves, I gotta take it down."

When the Broncos took Trevathan in the sixth-round of the 2012 draft, there was something of an industry consensus around the linebacker from Kentucky: nice athlete, good nose for the ball, probably a bit too small to play be a starter in the NFL.

Trevathan never got much bigger. In fact, he lost weight this offseason to gain speed. He made an immediate impact through his intensity, strength of will, and vocal leadership.

In short, Trevathan is the type of player that a seven-time Pro Bowler sees as an equal.