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    Bears rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent has Chargers’ full respect
    • October 27, 2023

    COSTA MESA — It’s not as if the Chargers had to do a Google search for Tyson Bagent’s name to learn something about the Chicago Bears’ rookie quarterback. There was plenty of information about him after he filled in for an injured Justin Fields and led them to a rout of the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

    Beyond that 30-12 victory, though, there wasn’t a whole lot of videotape of Bagent, an undrafted rookie from Shepherd, an NCAA Division II school located aptly enough in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He’s one of only six players from the public liberal arts university to have played in the NFL.

    Bagent, listed at 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds, completed 21 of 29 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown against the Raiders, his first NFL start and his second appearance in place of Fields, who has a right thumb injury that sidelined him for practice Wednesday and Thursday.

    “If you’re good enough, the NFL will find you,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said, listing Bagent’s collegiate accomplishments, including an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl. “Then in the preseason, certainly, he had to beat a lot of people out to become the second quarterback for Chicago. He has our full respect.”

    Staley knows a little something about quarterbacks from small colleges.

    He was one, after all.

    Staley played at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, a Division II school, before completing his collegiate career at the University of Dayton. Collegiate coaching stops included John Carroll University and the University of St. Thomas, in addition to Northern Illinois and the University of Tennessee.

    Certainly, Bagent wasn’t completely unknown to the Chargers.

    “You take a good look at all of the quarterbacks,” Staley said of pre-draft scouting. “But, even if you’re looking at other positions, you are seeing him at the Senior Bowl, whether it’s in one-on-ones or in the seven-on-sevens or the actual team reps. You go back to what you saw back then, and then his performances so far in the NFL. You see a player who belongs and who is good enough to play quarterback in the NFL.”

    What stands out?

    Or, more to the point, what stood out against the Raiders?

    “I saw a winning performance,” Staley said. “I thought that he played really well. I thought that he operated the offense and did exactly what Luke (Getsy, Chicago’s offensive coordinator) is asking him to do. I thought that he played with a lot of confidence. You could see as the game went on he played with more and more confidence and made more and more plays. … Again, it was a winning performance.”


    Unlike last Sunday’s opponent, the pass-first Kansas City Chiefs, the Bears would rather run the football than pass it. Chicago is the fourth-leading rushing team in the NFL through the first seven weeks of the season, piling up 989 yards on the ground while averaging 4.8 yards per carry.

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    Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 32 of 42 passes for 424 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-17 victory over the Chargers (2-4) on Sunday. The Bears (2-5) rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns on 38 attempts, averaging 4.6 yards in their victory over the Raiders.

    It presents a radically different challenge for the Chargers.

    “Two totally different styles,” Chargers defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley said. “It starts with the ground game with (Chicago). K.C., they threw it (almost) 45 times. So, two totally different styles, two totally different tastes. But, again, same result. They rushed for (almost) 180 yards against the Raiders. The Bears know who they want to be and we have to do a good job of meeting that task.”


    Wide receiver Joshua Palmer was absent from practice for the second consecutive day because of a knee injury suffered Sunday against the Chiefs. … Tight end Gerald Everett (hip) and defensive backs Alohi Gilman (heel) and Deane Leonard (hamstring) were listed as limited participants.

    ​ Orange County Register