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Rivera: Montez Sweat is “best player for his team”

Ron Rivera joined the Bears Banter Podcast!

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Washington Commanders Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The latest Bears Banter Podcast has dropped!

This one was a lot of fun!

The Chicago Bears made some news earlier this week with the hiring of Shane Waldron as their new offensive coordinator, we break down his arrival and what this means for the Bears’ offense moving forward.

But the Pro Football Hall of Fame announcement for the latest class is just a couple of weeks away, and there are three Chicago Bears up for the hall this year! Steve McMichael, Julius Peppers and Devin Hester could all hear that they will be headed to Canton when the announcement comes down.

Who better to talk about these three candidates than Ron Rivera?

Rivera was teammates with McMichael in the 1980s, was part of the staff when Devin Hester arrived in 2006 and also had a chance to coach Peppers with the Carolina Panthers!

We spoke with Rivera about all three of their candidacies, but we also spoke to him about none other than Montez Sweat!

Obviously, after spending the last three and a half years with Sweat, Rivera, who focuses on the defensive side of the ball, would know him well. He says it’s not just about Sweat’s performance, but how he elevates everyone around him, something Bears fans learned quickly after he was acquired back in October.

“You have to now account for him,” Rivera said of teams facing Chicago moving forward. “Teams, when they’re game planning, and they sit there, and they look at Montez and say, we have to be able to answer that question. We have to turn the center to him all the time. We have to put a tight end over there. We have to rig our protections to him, and now they forget about the other guys. Or because of his great abilities to get upfield, he forces the quarterback to step up into the pocket, and now the interior pass rushers now affect the passing game. His affect isn’t just what he does, but how it affects the other guys. Again, this is a guy who is the best player for his team because he does those things and helps elevate his teammates.”

Rivera talked about how Steve McMichael was the best player on the ‘85 Bears, but he was the best player for the ‘85 Bears. He meant that some of the other guys, like Richard Dent or Mike Singletary, got all the glory, and a lot of that glory was a result of the dirty work that McMichael did. He felt Sweat was one of those guys that does that as well.

If you want to check out the interview with Rivera, you can check that out here:

You can also check out my spot on “Football Night in Chicago” on NBC Sports Net discussing the Rivera interview and my thoughts on Caleb Williams vs Justin Fields and the hiring of Shane Waldron here:

And of course, if you wanted to check out the full podcast episode of Bears Banter, you can check that out here: