Whatever the Bears did in response to President Donald Trump's suggestion that NFL owners fire players who refuse to stand for the national anthem, it had to be done as a team.
"That was extremely important for us," offensive tackle Charles Leno said. "That's one of our building blocks -- do everything together. Team. We want to continue that throughout the rest of the season and throughout the Bears' organization."
As one of the team leaders, linebacker Danny Trevathan said the decision to lock arms in a show of solidarity came after much soul-searching.
"I just talked to God, took some time and just looked at myself and thought 'How do I want the '17 Bears to be looked at? Do we just step by and just let things happen? That's not the team we want to be.
"If we want to be a unified team, we're all together and everybody says we're together, let's lock arms and let's go ahead and fight this together. We fought together, and I was proud of this team."
Chairman George McCaskey spoke to players Saturday night. Trevathan, who played under coach John Fox for three years in Denver, went to him first and later a small group of players.
"I just told them, 'I feel like we should do something,' Trevathan said. "'Lock arms,' and everybody was with it, all the leaders together."
Ground and pound:
The run game was so dominant in the 23-17 overtime victory over the Steelers, that it didn't matter that the Bears had just 101 net passing yards.
Quarterback Mike Glennon completed 1 pass to his wide receivers for 9 yards, but Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for 216 rushing yards on 35 carries.
"We can be very potent," Howard said. "We're trying to be the best duo in the league."
Howard's 19-yard TD run in overtime was the winning score, and it was set up by Cohen's 36-yard run.
"I saw a lot of open field," Howard said of his TD. "I saw D.T. (wide receiver Deonte Thompson) with a great block on the corner. Then I got around him, and I saw the safety coming, but I knew I was going to get to the end zone before him.
"You always dream about stuff like that, but it never happens, so that was crazy."
The speedy and shifty Cohen believes his style works well with Howard's power game.
"When he beats up a defense, I can come in and spark it up and maybe have a big run here and there. I feel like we can be the best running back tandem."
On the ball:
Cornerback Sherrick McManis gave the offense a huge boost early in the first quarter, when the Steelers' Eli Rogers let a Pat O'Donnell punt fall through his hands.
McManis grabbed the muff on the first bounce, giving the offense the ball at the Steelers' 29. Six runs later it was 7-0 Bears.
"You have to win at the line," said McManis, who was the first Bear downfield. "You have to beat your man 1-on-1, you have to make it down there, do your job. That's exactly what we preach before this game: Do our job and see how the game comes out."
Sitting it out:
Sunday's inactives were quarterback Mark Sanchez, safety Deon Bush, running back Taquan Mizzell, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (chest), guard Josh Sitton (ribs), defensive lineman John Jenkins and tight end Daniel Brown.
The Steelers were without starters T.J. Watt (groin) and Stephon Tuitt (hamstring).
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