The pantheon of Bears linebackers is an incredibly impressive one, highlighted by a Mount Rushmore comprised of Hall of Famers Bill George, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher.
But that only provides extra incentive for veteran inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who enters his fourth season with the Bears driven to join the franchise's all-time greats at the position.
"I want to be remembered," Trevathan said Friday during a video call with the media. "Legacy lives on forever. You always want to leave behind something that can be remembered of yourself. This is such a great tradition of linebackers the Bears have. I want to be up there. And to do that, I have to make plays."
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Trevathan has made plenty of plays since signing with the Bears in 2016, one year after winning the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos. In four years in Chicago, he has appeared in 46 games with 45 starts and recorded 327 tackles, six sacks, three interceptions, 15 tackles-for-loss, 16 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Trevathan signed a three-year contract extension in March because he feels the Bears are capable of winning a championship, an accomplishment that no doubt would cement his legacy in the "City of Big Shoulders."
"A Super Bowl would definitely put a stamp on that," Trevathan said. "You've got to have a great team, man. I feel like we're in the right situation ... I feel like we're so close right now and to do that would add to that legacy. Just to do that, it would be a dream of mine."
Trevathan was named a Pro Bowl alternate in 2018 when he helped the Bears win the NFC North title with a 12-4 record. Starting all 16 games, he compiled 102 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a career-high eight tackles-for-loss. Last year the 6-foot, 237-pounder was leading the Bears with 70 tackles when he sustained a season-ending elbow injury in a Week 10 win over the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.
Having completed his rehab during the offseason, Trevathan is confident that he'll be able to revert to his pre-injury form in 2020.
"I was just getting started," he said. "I'm being serious; I was just touching the tip of the 'berg. I was starting to [get a] feel for the defense, starting to get a feel for the inside 'backer for the defense. Now I understand football so well. I know how to play the game mentally and beat people mentally as well as physically. So I feel like I was definitely going to turn it up a couple notches last year.
"How do I get back to that? I never lost it, in my mind and how I feel and how I'm showing right now. I never lost it, I just never had the format, the span to go out there and do it because of the situation. But I feel like it's not going to be no problem to get back to that dog. I just can't wait to go out there and finish where I left off."
Trevathan almost didn't have that opportunity. He told reporters that he considered opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 because his fiancee and his children have asthma.
"I was definitely concerned about the virus," Trevathan said. "I definitely took some hard thought about the whole situation. My fiancee? That's like my backbone. She has chronic asthma and allergies that are crazy. So I really thought about her and all the sacrifices she made. I took it into consideration just because of her and her sacrifice and how important family is and how important she is to me."
Trevathan decided not to opt out after reporting to Halas Hall and seeing that the Bears have gone above and beyond guidelines established by the NFL and the State of Illinois to keep their players and coaches safe. Taking advantage of a massive expansion project completed last year that more than doubled the size of Halas Hall, the Bears have redesigned high-traffic areas such as the cafeteria, locker room, training room, weight room and meeting rooms to ensure that they meet or exceed physical-distancing guidelines.
"I had to see it firsthand, so I came in and I feel like they did a pretty good job handling the situation," Trevathan said. "You know, this thing is so wild. It's the first year I've ever seen something like this, anybody's seen something like this, so it definitely made me nervous a little bit. But I feel like I made the right decision."