Dick Butkus advises Bears linebacker Roquan Smith to ‘be violent’
Chicago Bears stars of past and present got together recently, including Dick Butkus and Roquan Smith. The team was celebrating their 100th anniversary with some events this past weekend, and the two linebackers were able to spend some time together.
Smith was asked recently what he and Butkus talked about, and his response was perfect.
Roquan Smith says that Dick Butkus told him, "Be violent."
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) June 11, 2019
Butkus told him simply to “be violent,” per Mark Grote. In today’s NFL, linebackers are allowed to be slightly less violent than Butkus’ generation, but it’s still solid advice nonetheless. Butkus is one of the best linebackers of all time, and it’s great that Smith was able to pick his brain.
Smith is entering his second season, and the Bears are counting on him to be a huge part of the defense in 2019. Smith was the eighth overall pick last year, and his pro career got off to a rocky start. Smith was the last rookie to sign, as he held out for most of training camp over a dispute about contract language.
The holdout and missed time clearly didn’t effect him too much, as he ended up having a promising rookie season. He appeared in all 16 games while making 14 starts, racking up 122 tackles, five sacks, and an interception. Overall, he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 39th-best linebacker last season.
The Georgia product will be looking to take the next step in his sophomore campaign, and he’ll be facing lofty expectations. There’s also been a significant amount of change around him, as the Bears lost defensive coordinator Vic Fangio as well as a couple of defensive starters this offseason. If he can take Butkus’ advice, he should do just fine in new DC Chuck Pagano’s system.