Chicago Bears outside linebacker Pernell McPhee had a quiet first two games of the season. Chicago's top free-agency acquisition said he felt like he was playing with "chains" wrapped around him in those early outings, according to Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune.
In the two games since then, a lot has changed.
"I just broke them chains off," McPhee said, per the Tribune. "I told Coach, 'Man, I need to play football.' And he told me as long as I make plays and stay disciplined within the defense, I could turn loose. Now I'm playing free. Now it's more attack and react. Earlier on it was read, then react."
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McPhee sacked Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson twice in Week 3. Although the Bears lost that game 26-0, they rebounded last week with a 22-20 win over the Oakland Raiders. In that game, McPhee led the team with eight tackles and intercepted Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
The Bears are still searching for an identity on defense. With his fierce presence on the outside, McPhee can help give Vic Fangio's fledgling unit a name.