The Chicago Bears have had great success with novice defenders since Mike Brown’s draft, one of the best security in team historyin the second round in 2000.
Charles Tillman (2003), Nathan Washer (2004), Chris Harris (2005), Kyle Fuller (2014), Adrian Amos (2015), Eddie Jackson (2017) and Ceylan Johnson (2020) joined the first seasons and began a successful career. era. But you need to go back to 1971 to find the draft that released two newcomers in the 1st week in second grade: native defender Charlie Ford and free security Jerry Moore.
Such a plan this year after first-year general manager Ryan Poles used two peaks of the second round on defensive defenders: cornerback Kyler Gordon of Washington and strong security Jacquan Brisker of Pennsylvania. This weekend at Halas Hall they are being trained in defense coach Matt Eberflus during a mini-camp for newcomers, and the basics of the scheme will allow them to make a quick transition if the recruiting class joins veterans in the off-season program.
Nothing will be conveyed by draft selection, but the depth table at each position is thin. And although the choice of defensive defenders did not meet the obvious offensive needs on the line and in the wide receiver, the Poles met the needs with dignity, adding Gordon and Brisker.
Even with one of the best passes in the league in 2021, the Bears fought hard in the second, finishing 27th out of 7.6 yards allowed for a pass attempt. Quarterbacks had a pass rating of 103.3 compared to the Bears, the worst in the NFL.
Gordon, selected under the 39th election, and Brisker, selected under the 48th, visited Halas Hall together for the first time before the draft, starting a relationship that has risen over the past week.
“It was great,” Brisker said. “You know, I just talked to him, made sure we had a textbook and stuff like that, just made sure I had that kind of chemistry with my teammate. … Make sure we are both comfortable and that we can play fast on the field. And also outside the field, that we have good relations. “
Brisker has an intriguing combination of size – 6 feet 1, 199 pounds – range and striking ability to go with a person who could help him quickly become a leader.
Gordon left training on Friday early with seizures but expected on Saturday. In addition to learning the terminology used by the coaching staff, beginners should leave Sunday with an understanding of the methods they will be asked to use as well as a basic understanding of the textbook.
Jackson, a free security and remnant that must be in line to get started, described the new defense as “easier.”
“It’s not too many eyes here, eyes there,” Jackson said. “You just look at what’s in front of you and play.”
This is not to say that beginners will find it easy to adapt, but it is not as difficult as what the Bears did under previous defense coordinators Vic Fangio, Chuck Pagan and Sean Desai.
The bears will have clearer coverage with basic guidelines, the basic rules that apply, lanes for safety and a clear understanding of where help and leverage for corner backs. It’s not too difficult and it doesn’t change much when moving or moving due to attack, which is huge for many teams today. Bears can maintain the integrity of their defenses without having to react to movement.
Eberflus and defense coordinator Alan Williams will use late rotation with defensive backs – something the Bears didn’t do much when they played Lavi Smith’s “Tampa 2” – but not as often as the team has done in the last few years.
The Bears have a new candidate for the role of nickel defender after the signing of former Baltimore Raven Tewan Young with an annual contract of $ 1.365 million. Young, 28, played well for the Ravens, but missed 15 games in 2020 due to injury and was withdrawn from the field for the entire 2017 and 2019 seasons due to injury, so strength is a legitimate issue.
“We’re still working on it,” Eberflus said when asked if Young fit into the scheme.
You should also think about which side the corner defenders will play. Johnson spent most of the last two years on the right side when he didn’t fit a specific wide receiver. He could be transferred to the left, as Gordon played on the right on Friday. But it all continues for Eberflus and Williams.
“The left (cannerback) is where the ball goes that way,” Eberflus said when asked about the strategy of choosing sides for his corner defenders. “But if you make statistics, I don’t know if it’s true because I’ve looked at it several times. We will disassemble it all along the way. It will be a process through OTA, a mandatory mini-camp and then all the way to training camp. ”
If Gordon and Brisker work well on what they are taught and succeed, they will definitely be in the mix when it comes time to make a decision in late August and early September.
“I’m watching the NFL all the time, and I’m always looking for fixes,” said Gordon, who has been barred from taking a touchdown in the last two seasons with the Huskies. “I see what I can do to recover? So when I watch NFL games, I take out game parts if they go well – or bad, I won’t. Just keep learning. ”
Defending on the weekends is the first step to something the Bears haven’t seen in more than 50 seasons.