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New Bears safety Jonathan Owens, wife Simone Biles getting acclimated to Chicago: 'The city has embraced us'

Having signed with the Bears in March, safety Jonathan Owens has already taken the field in Chicago, so to speak.

On Saturday, Owens threw out the first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds-Chicago White Sox game at Guaranteed Rate Field. Throwing from the top of the mound (many go from the base of it for a shorter and safer throw), Owens wasted little time and tossed a solid offering over the plate.

It was a sigh of relief for wife and four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and a promising introduction to Chi-Town.

"He kept talking about the side arm," Biles said, via Gabby Hajduk of the team website. "I really thought he was going to throw a '50 Cent.' I was so excited for that. Well, it was actually a 10, so it irritated me how good it was. It was really good. I'm proud of him."

Getting a 10 from one of the greatest gymnasts of all time -- spouse bias notwithstanding -- is hopefully a sign of good marks to come for Owens in Chicago.

Owens has come into his own over the past two seasons, wrapping up a four-year run with the Houston Texans in 2022 by tallying a career-high 125 tackles in 17 starts. In 2023, Owens started 11 games for the rival Green Bay Packers, recording 84 tackles and his first career touchdown on a fumble recovery. Though Owens isn't a shoo-in to start at safety, he should bolster what portends to be a stellar defensive backfield with Jaquan Brisker and Kevin Byard at the safety spots, Pro Bowler Jaylon Johnson and Tyrique Stevenson at cornerback and Kyler Gordon at nickel.

Owens, 28, is now with his third team in as many seasons, but after signing a two-year pact, perhaps Chicago will be a sweet home for a while. So far, it's been quite the welcome.

"The city has embraced us, so it's been really nice," Biles said. "It's been exciting to go to a different city that you're unfamiliar with, but everybody embraces you like you're family. That's always nice. It just makes it easier."

Owens is a St. Louis native who went to college at Missouri Western State.

From the skyscrapers to the ball club, it's all been a bit new for the former Texan and Packer.

"It was sensory overload," Owens said. "I'm driving and every two buildings I'm like, 'Babe look at this, look at this.' It was a really good time and we're excited."

He was excited to throw at the first pitch for the White Sox, too -- even if it wasn't for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals.

"I got to throw out the first pitch and that was always something I wanted to do," Owens said. "Being from St Louis, I thought it would be for the Cardinals. But given this opportunity, I couldn't turn it down."

Signing with Chicago could well be an opportunity to join a squad on the rise, as the Bears approach a pivotal 2024 NFL Draft in which they're prognosticated to take USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick and own the No. 9 selection, as well.

Owens is a former undrafted free agent, but he and Biles are getting settled in to Chicago in hurry.

Next up for Biles will be a jampacked competition schedule en route to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, which begin in late July, right around the same time Owens will be at Bears training camp.

Owens plans to root on Biles as often as he can leading up to her Olympics return.

"I'm gonna be in there cheering like it's a football game," Owens said.

And just as she's done before, Biles will be her husband's biggest fan come the fall and therefore a new Bears super fan, as well.

"It has meant the world to be able to support him," Biles said. "There's not a lot of time I get to do that because our seasons clash at one point and then it's [his season] and then it's [mine]. So it's actually exciting whenever I get to come out and support [him] because these are memories that you won't get to do forever. So every time I get to support him, any which way, I'm here."

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