Joniak's Journal: Bears' Adam Shaheen Not Afraid To Mix It Up

"I get into the moment, and I just let it loose," Shaheen says.

Jeff Joniak
December 13, 2018 - 6:55 pm
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LAKE FOREST (WBBM Newsradio) -- The Bears (9-4) can win the NFC North with a victory against the Packers (5-7-1) at Soldier Field on Sunday. Here are the notes and observations of the day as they continued preparing Thursday.

First impression

It's been quite a journey for Bears receiver Allen Robinson this season, his first since ACL surgery and rehabilitation. Robinson was ready to go against the Packers in the season opener, but he's in a better place now for the rematch.

"I feel pretty good," Robinson said. "I think the toughest part about that is going through the most critical time before a season not being 100 percent. I think that’s tough in and of itself. It’s hard to prepare for the duration of the season not being 100 percent. I think that was tough."

Robinson wasn't himself in the opener. He feels himself now with more rhythm as the season has gone on.

"Most definitely,”" Robinson said. "I really feel like myself being able to create separation, being able to make the plays that I’ve always been able to make. Also, not really worrying about too much from a mental standpoint as well. Being able to line up, see the coverage, not worry about anything and just being able to go out there, let loose and play ball."

Robinson will be an important weapon for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky down the stretch. He'll be excited to have the chance to play in the playoffs as well, as he didn't play in the Jaguars' run to the AFC Championship Game a year ago.

Second thought

Bears tight end Adam Shaheen has the market cornered when it comes to frustration. Slated to be a huge component in coach Matt Nagy's new offense, he suffered a foot injury in the preseason that sidelined him for the first nine games and short-circuited his on-field growth, but there are still some significant snaps awaiting Shaheen.

"I feel like it helped me just be more grateful for every day that I have now," Shaheen said. "Every day that I am actually practicing, playing around, having fun, just to realize where I was even this season."

Shaheen feels fortunate to be healthy and to be playing for Nagy, who has led the team's turnaround.

"It’s hard to argue otherwise," Shaheen said. "It’s the first time since 2010 that we really have a chance to go out and win a division. It’s pretty awesome."

Third degree

You may have noticed Shaheen ear-hustling some Rams after the whistle Sunday.

"I was having fun," Shaheen said. "I was talking a little trash."

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Shaheen was filling the role of enforcer a little bit.

"That’s been who I am since the Ashland days," Shaheen said, referencing his Division-II college. "I get into the moment, and I just let it loose. It was fun to be a part of."

If his buttons are pressed, count on Shaheen’s blood rising. 

"That was the biggest game to date for me and for the team, so why not," Shaheen said. "Like coach says -- 'be you.'"

Shaheen isn't one who will start a scuffle, but he won't lay down and take a foe trying to ruffle his feathers either. He goes hard to the whistle.

"A lot of the stuff comes when I’m playing through the whistle and some guys don’t like when you play through the whistle," Shaheen said. "That’s on them I guess."

Fourth-and-short

Can the Bears bring the same intensity against the Packers as they did in the win against the Rams? That's what defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is asking his defense to do.

"That’s one of our goals," cornerback Prince Amukamara said. "He really wants us to put together back-to-back great games. That’s our plan this week."

Among the other goals likely laid out by Fangio: Stop Packers running back Aaron Jones and don’t give up the big play, which has haunted the Bears when they have played Aaron Rodgers.

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.​​​​