By Robert Zeglinski
BOURBONNAIS — Guys like Leonard Floyd, Jerrell Freeman and Akiem Hicks may have been the players to receive the most headlines of every Bears defensive player in the past year, but it doesn’t mean they were the most important.
No, instead, in what’s been continually stressed, many have often cited third-year nose tackle Eddie Goldman as the actual key to the Bears defense. So when he missed Thursday’s first practice due to a conditioning issue as first mentioned by John Fox, you couldn’t help but have your mind run with worry.
A loose Goldman is already past the initial hiccup, confirming as evidenced by his comforts on Friday. There’s nothing to worry about.
“Yeah … just dehydration. It was humid out there,” said Goldman of Thursday’s conditions. The 23-year-old is ready to roll, and again, like many Bears have said, they’re prepared to rely on their big man in the middle. He knows full well his impact and what he means to this defense—and that he can’t afford missing time for any reason: especially those in his control.
“They depend on me. I gotta follow through. That episode on the field, that’s controllable. I gotta be dependable,” said Goldman.
Goldman has had a rough go of it since the 2016 season started. An early suffered high ankle sprain severely limited what the young defender was able to contribute over the course of last year as he eventually ended up being placed on injured reserve. An ankle injury that he says was “frustrating” in repeated treatment but isn’t chronic and “you shouldn’t worry about it.”
All of that commotion is in the rear view mirror and a crucial cog like as Goldman has his sights set on the prize.
With him back in tow, when asked about the potential of the current budding Bears defensive line, Goldman didn’t hesitate whatsoever.
“Man, we could be the best. We could be the best. We just have to do it day in and day out. There’s 16 games, you gotta arrive at every one of them.”
Robert is your guy for all things Bears. He’ll be with the team all through training camp. Find him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.