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Bears OLB Pernell McPhee ready to 'dominate, destroy' opponents

Pernell McPhee has missed nine of a possible 32 regular-season games since he signed with Chicago. Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Pernell McPhee set lofty goals for the Chicago Bears' outside linebackers -- a position group ravaged by injuries last year.

"Dominate, destroy every opponent that we face," McPhee said on Tuesday. "Just showing the world why they actually got these guys in the room. Me, Leonard [Floyd], Willie [Young], Lamarr [Houston] and Sam [Acho]. Just dominate in the NFL. That’s my focus. That’s what I want us to do, and that’s what I think we’re going to do."

Any dreams of football domination require the Bears to stay healthy -- something the team has never done under head coach John Fox. And that starts at outside linebacker, where McPhee, Houston and Floyd missed a combined 25 games in 2016.

McPhee, who spent the first six weeks of the regular season on the PUP list, lost weight in an attempt to take some pressure off his ailing knees.

The Bears listed McPhee at 273 pounds on their official OTAs roster. He played much heavier than that when he first arrived in Chicago in 2015.

“I still feel great, I’m moving around pretty good as I watch myself on film,” McPhee said. “I feel lighter than I was a couple of weeks ago when you saw me. So, you know, I’m still blessed, still feeling great.”

McPhee doesn’t feel as if he needs to prove anything on the field in 2017. Entering his seventh NFL season, McPhee has the highest salary-cap number ($7.825 million) of any Chicago player on defense. McPhee, who signed a five-year deal worth $15.5 million guaranteed, has 10 sacks since he joined the Bears.

“What do I want to prove this year? I don't want to prove anything,” McPhee said. “The only thing on my mind is keeping my faith with God and staying healthy, and everything else is going to prove itself, because you know I can play.”