We’re so excited for a brand new start in Chicago, but that being said, the past few months have been nuts!
Since we were competing in the Super Bowl, our season was extended significantly. With the new contract signing, and a new head coach with the Bears, we have to report earlier than usual. Needless to say, my off time this year has been cut short. On top of that, we are trying to sell our house in Philadelphia and find a new one in Chicago. But through it all, we couldn’t be more joyful. We’ve heard nothing but great things about Chicago and can’t wait to join the team.
Any time you start something fresh, there will be uncertainty. Everything will be new — new guys in the locker room, new coaches, new staff, new friends, new city. I also don’t know the spiritual environment of the team, though I have met some of my new teammates. I’m looking forward to playing alongside Chase Daniel and Cody Parkey again, guys who also just signed with Chicago. But anytime God calls you to a new place, it’s never the most comfortable.
What we had in Philadelphia was special. I know that with whatever team I play on in the future, there will never be an exact replica of what was happening in Philly. And I have to be OK with that. Knowing this, I’m excited to start new, whatever that may look like. From my time with the Eagles, I have a great blueprint of what can work really well in regards to establishing great community on a team. But I also want to observe what is already going on in the locker room here in Chicago and how I can best serve these men. I want to lead the way God is calling me to lead, whether that means stepping up or following others.
This past year has showed me just how important the body of Christ is. You tend to take it for granted when you have multiple guys on your team who are working for the Kingdom. When that’s gone — when many of them were injured or traded last season — you have to step up and out of your comfort zone. Everyone’s gifting is unique. Certain men are gifted with speaking in public and others are better behind the scenes. But when someone has to take a step back, suddenly you have to step up. I feel like I’m more prepared to do that this season after experiencing that firsthand in the previous one.
We had so many great leaders who played at such a high level last year. How they held their teammates accountable, pushing them to play their hardest, was inspiring. They did a great job of making sure everyone was as competitive as they could be. We were never able to breeze through a practice. Even on the days when it was hard to get out of bed, we had to continue to fight to get better and better. These men set the tempo for our team and led everyone well. I learned a lot because of them — lessons I can carry with me wherever I am.
The truth is, I think I’ve always been ready for this move. Entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2014, I watched as God continually put the right people around me to sow into me what it’s like to be in the league. Nothing was certain for me. Year to year I had to wait to see if I would be resigned or signed to a new team. I never knew if I would be back; I never knew if the Eagles would still want me. Through those four years, God was shaping and molding me, preparing me for the next challenge He had for me. And I couldn’t be more thrilled for what lies ahead.
—Trey Burton, Chicago Bears tight end
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos