Upon his arrival in Chicago, Bears outside linebacker Robert Quinn voiced some trepidation.
The thought of playing the left side of the 3-4 defense caused him problems about where he would line up, but a month of video meetings with defensive coaches seems to have removed some of his anxiety.
Quinn hadn't played much on the left side of the line in nine NFL seasons, and had been at end on the right side in a 4-3 almost all the time.
"Well, from what I know, the only thing that was challenging about the 3-4, if you look at my career, I've never really played the left side," Quinn had said after signing in Chicago. "So I mean, I think we’ve got a comfortable understanding that hopefully I get to stay on the right side. If we've got to flip-flop, I guess I've got to get more comfortable playing on the left."
This past week while talking with Bears reporters, Quinn said he realizes he won't be on the right side all the time regardless but now he is totally fine with it.
"Going to these little meetings, I definitely picked up the playbook," Quinn said. "You know, coach Pagano isn't really gonna change his defense for me. I've gotta fit his defense.
"As I learn where I'm gonna play and what I've gotta do, I'll just try to pick it up as best as possible."
The Bears have regularly flip-flopped edge rushers. Khalil Mack sometimes lines up on the right side, although most of the time it's on the left side.
"I ask the older guys like Khalil and even some of the younger guys who have been there, like Isaiah (Irving) and stuff, because they know the defense better than I do," Quinn said. "So anything they can teach me that can help me get up to speed, I'm gonna try and pick their ear.
"So I'm just here to do my part and help this team win, and of course, the ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl."
Another reason Quinn is a little more at ease with his situation is the way he feels he fit in with new teammates on the Zoom conferences they had. The team ceased these at the end of the week and won't be back together until training camp.
"The personality, even through these little Zoom calls, you can tell the room or the team is full of personality," Quinn said. "As you can tell, I'm more of a quiet one, laid back, but there's a variety of different personalities, just from guys being themselves.
"But you also look at it that they take the game serious. You want to have fun, but you want to win. Winning is fun. So they kinda try to put those hand in hand. At the end of the day, from afar, not being able to be in the locker room, I think we’ve got a great group over there."
If the defense made an impression on Quinn, it worked the other way as well according to linebacker Danny Trevathan.
"I watched Quinn from afar," Trevathan said. "I know he's been going for a while. He knows what he's doing. He's a wrecking machine."
The end result, said the Bears' defensive field general, is little room for offenses to go.
"Now you've got to watch this side here, this side over here," Trevathan said. "You've got to watch the middle. You've got to watch the back end. Front seven.