So, let’s flip the script with the third installment and take a look at a gaggle I’m bullish on heading into coaching camp.
It is a unit with two rookies, one budding star, a former All-Professional trying to return to his elite type, and a former sixth-round decide with eyes on capturing a beginning spot.
It is time to discuss secondary, the place group that could be the energy of the 2022 Bears.
CB: Jaylon Johnson
CB: Kyler Gordon
SS: Jaquan Brisker
FS: Eddie Jackson
NB: Thomas Graham Jr.
The Bears ’secondary was downright dreadful in 2021. It ranked lifeless final in passer score towards (103.3) and tied for thirtieth in landing passes allowed at 31.
If it appeared horrible on the skin, it felt worse to the Bears’ greatest participant within the defensive backfield.
“S – t, I imply, I felt like I used to be struggling too,” Johnson stated throughout OTAs. “On the finish of the day, we’re all on this collectively. We simply obtained to be on one web page. I really feel like quite a lot of issues had been extra psychological than bodily issues.”
To win in as we speak’s NFL, you’ve got to have the ability to defend and have an effect on the quarterback. With the Bears ’defensive position nonetheless a piece in progress, the easiest way to assist what might be a mediocre move rush is to have guys within the again finish who’re able to making performs.
So, new common supervisor Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus used their high two draft picks on the defensive backfield, deciding on cornerback Kyler Gordon and security Jaquan Brisker.
Each rookies opened eyes early at rookie minicamp and OTAs. To Johnson, there is no must ease in Gordon and Brisker. The Bears want them to play, and play effectively, instantly.
“S – t, I might throw ’em within the fireplace for those who had been asking me,” Johnson stated. “I imply, they’re our first two draft picks. I really feel like we have to what they’ll do proper now. After which I really feel like we are able to sort of know what the perspective and what the vibe is heading into camp. If I used to be the coach, I would not ease them into it. I might throw them on the market. “
Gordon did not take part in necessary minicamp, however he was impressed together with his takeaway capacity throughout OTAs. His sticky protection abilities and nostril for the ball ought to make him an excellent No. 2 nook reverse Johnson.
Brisker, in the meantime, has been all the things the Bears hoped for and extra. The Penn State product’s willingness to minimize within the field ought to unencumber Jackson to maneuver to deep security, the place he thrives at studying the quarterback and inflicting havoc within the backend.
There’s little doubt Brisker would be the beginning robust security in Week 1 towards the 49ers, and there’s no telling how good he may be.
“He is been actually good, actually good,” Eberflus stated after a minicamp wrapped up. “In reality, I used to be simply speaking to Alan Williams about him on the sphere, and we’re simply so thrilled together with his expertise, you realize, together with his psychological make-up and simply the particular person he’s and the place he’s in his improvement thus far Has he proven all the things wanted to essentially look across the nook to see ‘Hey, the place is that this man’s potential?’ And it is our job as coaches and gamers collectively to get him to his potential his first yr. “
Not solely does Brisker match Eberflus’ “M&M” mildew, however he additionally may unlock Jackson, who’s making an attempt to rediscover his All-Professional type of 2018. If Brisker delivers, the Bears may get a two-for-one particular.
Poles and Eberflus inherited a bottom-five roster scenario. It needed to be gutted, and there was solely a lot they may repair of their first offseason.
Whereas the offensive line and vast receiver corps nonetheless want a facelift, they gave the secondary an inflow of expertise. If Brisker and Gordon play to their potential, the secondary needs to be a secure bedrock for the protection in 2022.
Largest query: Can Eddie Jackson discover the outdated Eddie Jackson?
X-factor: Kyler Gordon
Johnson is a budding star, Jackson is a veteran who’s motivated to search out his A-game, and I imagine Brisker has the products.
However for the secondary to succeed, the Bears want a dependable No. 2 cornerback reverse Johnson. Gordon was a first-round expertise who slid into the second spherical. The Bears shortly snapped him up, and for good cause.
Gordon did not permit a landing in 722 protection snaps throughout his time in Seattle, per ProFootballFocus. He has all of the instruments to be a lockdown nook within the NFL. Size, athleticism, ball abilities, intelligence.
When he was on the sphere at Halas Corridor, Gordon had Eberflus smiling.
“Kyler’s been lighting it up the final two days,” Eberflus stated after the Bears’ second OTA follow. “I am going to simply inform you that. The man’s obtained super ball abilities. He is been taking part in the protection the fitting approach, and we’re very impressed with him. I am going to simply inform you that. And he is doing a great job the primary two days. “
If Gordon can deal with the educational curve, the Bears could have patched up the secondary in a single offseason.
Verdict: If Brisker and Gordon are for actual, so is the Bears’ secondary.