The Bears slowly continue to add depth and competition in free agency, most recently with the signing of defensive back Alan Ball. Ball has spent the past two seasons in Jacksonville. Before that, he played in Houston for one season, and spent five years in Dallas coming out of the University of Illinois.
Ball is just the type of corner Pace, Fox and Fangio like to use. He is tall at 6’2, and can play press-man coverage very well. He’s also not afraid to come up to make the big hit. Ball can immediately compete for the starting spot opposite Kyle Fuller. That move would allow Tim Jennings to be kicked inside to cover the slot. Even if he does not start from day one, it further enhances the cornerback depth, and provides more needed veteran presence on the back end.
Ball has a very similar frame and style to Al Louis-Jean, who could also be competing for the other starting spot. Either way, the Bears continue to grab big players with length to help compete with the monster receivers and tight ends in today’s NFL. Fangio’s scheme will have a lot of multiple defensive back looks, so veteran depth is key.
Ryan Pace’s very calculated approach to free agency has been a refreshing change, and his ability to fill holes with one year, prove-it deals will only help with the team in transition. Each new addition makes it more and more obvious that the Bears will be selecting the best player available when they are on the clock April 30th.
And with the 7th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select…..a day one starter.