Skip to main content

More to Robert Quinn than Sacks

Robert Quinn might consider himself a pass rusher who works his craft at training camp but the Bears and their young roster are seeing a hidden benefit from having him around rookies.

When Bears training camp started, Roquan Smith wasn't the only veteran defensive player who seemed like a possible hold-out.

Rumors flew about defensive end Robert Quinn not coming to camp because he wanted a trade, after missing all the offseason work. Yet, Quinn has been solider and gutted it out. Already the Bears are reaping dividends.

The payoff hasn't been in sacks but instead in developing two fifth-round draft picks on either side of the ball. It's invaluable inexperience for young players to see him every day.

At practice, it's left tackle Braxton Jones benefiting from going against Quinn on a daily basis. On defense, it's rookie defensive end Dominique Robinson watching and talking to Quinn to figure out what he might incorporate into his own pass rush.

Robinson watched in awe at first as he saw how Quinn applied his pet cross-chop move and got upfield.

"I was trying it before he got here," Robinson said. "I did it a couple times and was like, 'That's not me.' Watched him do it and I was like, 'OK, I see what I was doing wrong. I wasn't attacking the tackle the way I was supposed to.' I tried again, and I used it yesterday, and it kinda worked a little bit.

"So I'm like, 'OK, I see progress in this. I'm not going to throw it all the time, you know I'm gonna do what I do, but when the time comes I'm gonna work that move.' "

As a result of being around Quinn and his 101 career sacks, Robinson expects to use some of his new moves in the preseason opener Saturday at noon against the Chiefs at Soldier Field.

"Yeah, I'm definitely going to be trying a few things," he said. "It's only right, that's how we develop. You try, and if it doesn’t work maybe you try it again. If not, then you go back to what you've been doing. But I'm definitely trying new things throughout these games."

Scroll to Continue

Read More

For Braxton Jones, the other Bears fifth-round pick, it's been a tougher go because he actually faces Quinn on a regular basis.

"I think the biggest thing for me is just the quickness of it," Jones said. "Going against maybe a rookie—no offense to any of the rookies or anything like that—they're just not as quick to the point. He's really quick to the point. He's on you like that. That's the biggest thing for me, that might not even be win or loss.

"I think just getting used to that quickness and his reaction time is amazing. So I think that's one of the big things too."

Jones sees facing that speed every day as not intimidating but proper preparation to debut at starting left tackle in the opener.

"I wouldn't say intimidation, maybe awe," Jones said. "Like, 'oh man, that was really, really quick, or, 'that was a good move,' or something like that.

"But it's only got me better. I think going up against him is obviously great for me, and to get me better every week will definitely help me. But no intimidation. The first time he hit me with his signature (cross chop). It was like, 'oh dang, it's for real.' "

Quinn realizes his impact on younger players, but it's not necessarily something he sets out to do. It happens.

"I mean, of course, I'm always trying to work my craft and hopefully it's helped him become better as a player, too," Quinn said. "We're just trying to push other to become the best football players we can be."

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven