Stephen Paea tests ankle before preseason finaleContinue reading.
Bears DT Stephen Paea: ‘All-in year’ after I ‘let my teammates down’
After a season derailed by a nagging, painful turf toe injury on his left foot, Stephen Paea is optimistic he’ll play better this season.
It didn’t sound like he thought he could do worse.
“You see how I played — I let my teammates down,” the defensive tackle said after the fifth of 10 organized team activity sessions at Halas Hall. “The best thing about it is, I have a second chance to do it …
“Just put a chip on my shoulder this year.”
Paea did not have surgery on the toe during the offseason, and said rest has made it feel better. He has yet to miss a training session because of it.
He knows this is the last season of his rookie contract with the Bears — “So I have to play like it,” he said.
“It’s an ‘all-in year’ for me,” he said.
Paea certainly noticed the Bears drafted two players at his position — Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton — but said he’s happy to help them improve, too.
“I was once a young guy,” he said. “And they deserve the coaching and the help from their peers, especially from me.
“Competition is good. That’s the beauty of the game.”
He said he’s been “learning a lot” from new additions on the line: Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and the returning Jeremiah Ratliff. Ratliff knows new defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni from their days with the Cowboys.
“They’re on the same page,” he said.