Bears defensive lineman Eddie Goldman

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Joniak: Goldman Anchoring Bears' Stout Run Defense

Akiem Hicks calls Eddie Goldman an unsung hero on the Bears' defense. 

November 15, 2018 - 5:02 pm
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By Jeff Joniak--

LAKE FOREST (WBBM Newsradio) -- The Bears (6-3) are preparing to host the Vikings (5-3-1) on Sunday evening. Here are the notes and observations of the day from Thursday.

First impression

In his fourth professional season, 24-year-old Bears defensive lineman Eddie Goldman is having his best campaign. His dirty work inside is a big reason Chicago has the No. 2 rushing defense in the NFL. 

Goldman sets down roots in the gaps and is athletic enough to help collapse the pocket. Offensive linemen who struggle against size are often overpowered by Goldman.

"You can’t play good run defense without him playing good," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "He is strong in there. Whether it’s a one-on-one block or a two-on-one block, he’s able to hold the point for us and yet get off blocks and make plays within that. So he’s a very important player for us."

Second thought

Fellow defensive lineamn Akiem Hicks works well with Goldman inside, particularly on stunts. They will be an important duo against a Vikings offensive line that gives up a lot of penetration and pressure.  

Hicks called Goldman an unsung hero on the Bears defense. 

"He’s eating up blocks in the middle for both ends, for both linebackers, and he just allows us to flow free and make plays," Hicks said. "He is strong man. He has a will to be there for us. I give Eddie all the credit. I know he doesn’t get a lot of attention, but he’s a great player."

Third degree 

It was great to visit with Dick McCann Award-winning sportswriter Don Pierson at Halas Hall on Thursday. In retirement, Pierson agreed to join fellow McCann Award winner Dan Pompei in writing "The Chicago Bears Centennial Scrapbook" as part of next year’s Bears100 celebration.

Those are two of the premier NFL writers, and each has a deep understanding and knowledge of the Bears over many decades of coverage. Pierson admitted it was a daunting exercise to pull a book of this magnitude together in a non-chronological way to capture the essence of the Bears unique history. 

"There’s never been one family that’s been involved with the entire history of the sport in the league," Pierson said. "It would be like James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, still owning the Boston Celtics. I mean it is just unheard of. The Halas-McCaskey family still owns the Chicago Bears."

The stories related to the unique rivalries between the Bears and the Cardinals, Packers and Lions are highly entertaining, Pierson said. Bears owner Virginia Halas McCaskey agreed to extensive interviews with Pierson and Pompei for the project.

"She has a great memory and fascinating stories about the Bears," Pierson said. "When you think something like the Red Grange tour ... that Virginia McCaskey was on the Red Grange tour ... that gives you an idea of some perspective of the scope that this family’s had."

The book is expected to be released next spring.

Fourth-and-short

Bears coach Matt Nagy is imploring his team to keep its edge as it leads the NFC North.

"You have to make sure that you do the right things every single day," Nagy said. "No complacency, details, shirts tucked in ... everything we talked about in training camp. Don’t lose that right now."

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.​​​