Bears’ Yannick Ngakoue Offers Insight on Trevis Gipson, Dominique Robinson

Bears Yannick Ngakoue

The Chicago Bears did not have either of their starting EDGE rushers – Yannick Ngakoue or DeMarcus Walker – for thir preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans. But they did have incumbents Trevis Gipson and Dominique Robinson going, and the former finished with an especially positive showing.

Yannick Ngakoue: ‘Great Things’ From Bears’ Young Pass Rushers

“They’re coming off the ball really quick,” Ngakwoue said on August 14. “Coach Travis [Smith] teaches us to get off the ball. He teaches us there’s no such thing as a play-action pass. And I’ve seen a lot of great things coming from those two guys.”

Gipson, one of the few roster holdovers by general manager Ryan Poles, received the fourth-highest grade of any Bears defender from Pro Football Focus in Week 1.

He had five tackles and a sack, proving disruptive against the Titans’ reserve offensive linemen.

Robinson – a fifth-rounder from 2022 – finished with a pair of tackles and was the third-highest graded defensive lineman behind Gipson and undrafted free agent Jalen Harris.

Neither Gipson nor Robinson was too concerned with the possibility that the team would add to their position. Given Ngakwoue’s approach, it could pay off for everyone involved, including the displaced players.

Yannick Ngakoue Explains Importance of Technique

Ngakoue was brought in for his own production on the field. But his experience and proven track record give him a unique perspective in a position group full of prospects and tweeners like Walker and fellow 22023 offseason pickup Rasheem Green who drew the start in the preseason opener.

“This league is difficult,” Ngakoue said. “You can’t just stab club guys no more, because guys are strong. So you got to figure out a move where you can disengage with a guy really quick, and that’s a move that I try to perfect over time.”

The Bears recorded a league-low 20 sacks in 2022 with only 6.5 of them coming from the EDGE position.

Gipson led the group with 3.0 and Robinson chipped in with 1.5.

Chicago also got 1.0 sacks each from Al-Quadin Muhammad and Robert Quinn, the latter of whom was traded at the deadline just one season after setting the franchise single-season sack record. Ngakoue comes in with expectations to elevate the entire group and said he’s ready to do just that.

“Honestly, I just can’t wait to go out there and take the field with them,” Ngakoue said.

Yannick Ngakoue Echoes Bears Teammate DJ Moore

“I feel like those things that Coach Travis as well as Coach [Rod] Marinelli taught me to become a better player. And it’s basically just your effort: how bad do you want it? Sometimes you mess up on a play. But you can make a play not look like a mistake if you’re just going full speed. It’s all about going full speed.”

It’s an identical approach to wide receiver DJ Moore’s explanation for drawing contact and potentially flags on his routes.

Bears WR DJ Moore is a Model of Consistency

Consistency is key and it’s lessons like that that Ngakoue is passing on to his younger teammates.

“It’s also all about just being a servant-leader and just giving back to the young guys,” Ngakoue said. “And just telling them the things they can do so they don’t go through the same mistakes you made.”

Trevis Gipson’s Contract Year

This is a big year for Gipson who gave himself a “D-” grade immediately after last season came to an end for the team.

He said that he feels better coming into this season than he did to end the 2022 campaign.

“I feel really good, man,” Gipson said after practice on July 29. “Honestly, I’m more confident…I’m appreciative for the parts of my game that got exposed, as hard as that is to say. But I’m an honest man, and that’s how it is. So when you get a weakness exposed, you have no other choice but to strengthen it.”

Gipson said his confidence comes from his work over the offseason to improve on those weaknesses.

“I’m working on my change of direction…finishing my pass rush, my technique, my hand combat, and my conditioning also,” he said. “I feel like that’s gonna give me a big edge, especially in the fourth quarter, on those offensive linemen.”

Perhaps he has found a niche in the process, working as a rotational EDGE rusher. He recorded 7.0 sacks in 2021 in a similar role and could thrive there once again.