Fields, Kemet make Tony Bear’s homecoming an easy decision originally appeared nbc sports chicago
Robert Toney always knew he would one day play for the Bears.
The quarterback-turned-tight end and McHenry native finally made that dream come true on Thursday when he signed a one-year contract to play for his hometown team. There were so many compelling reasons for Tonin leaving the Green Bay Packers for a Bears team that he believes the arrow is pointing straight up.
quarterback justin fields chief among them,
“Big fan of the quarterback,” Tonin told Chicago media on Friday’s conference call via Zoom.
“I think he’s a mentally strong, young player. It’s hard to do when you come into the league, whether positive or negative things are being said about you in the media, just to stay calm and play your game.” He progressed so well last year all year. We got to see that being a division opponent. He’s staying in there, taking hits, getting up, popping up, and coming back for more. That’s what you want in a quarterback and a leader, someone who doesn’t give up or back down, plays through injuries or whatever it may be. I’m so excited to be a part of this Am.”
Tony is familiar with the Bears’ offensive coordinator, Luke Gatesy, and his plan. The 28-year-old tight end knows it fits well in his skill set. He is a solid pass-catcher who could give Fields another reliable target in the red zone. Tonin has only dropped two passes in five seasons according to Pro Football Reference.
Last season, the Bears’ offense lacked legitimate pass-catching weapons. With Tonin and newly acquired DJ Moore, Fields has a few more tools in an evolving arsenal.
Tony Cole will join the tight room chaired by Kamet. The 24-year-old got off to a slow start in Year 3 of his NFL career, but settled in and exploded for seven touchdowns in the final 10 games, five of which came in three games.
Bringing in another quality pass-catching tight end in Tonin to pair with Kemet should enhance a Bears offense that was lacking in the passing game last season.
“This offense runs through tight ends, whether it’s blocking, passing, whatever it is,” Toney said. “And just a good pairing. Cole has a really good end. He’s big, strong, and I think that add-on can complement me and him. I’m super pumped.”
“I’m just excited to get into this building and turn things around and just be part of a team that’s headed in the right direction.”
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Catching passes from Fields, reuniting with Gatsy, and pairing with Kemet were all selling points for Tonin to join the Bears.
But it’s also home – where Tony always planned to achieve his NFL dreams.
“Did I think I would be a tight end for the Bears? No,” Tony said of his football journey. “But did I think I’d be playing for the Bears? Yes, absolutely. In my mind I was playing for the Bears my whole life.”