1. The rookies in the Chicago Bears secondary should be really good
The Chicago Bears secondary was awful last season. Opposing quarterbacks torched the Bears unit as they forfeited 27 passing touchdowns in 2021. General manager Ryan Poles attempted to cure that ill in this year’s draft. Washington Huskies cornerback Kyler Gordon and Penn State Safety Jaquan Brisker were added to the Bears secondary in the 2nd round of the 2022 draft.
Gordon and Brisker were extremely competent in college. The pair only allowed one touchdown in college.
Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon combined for 1,678 coverage snaps in their college careers.
— Ryan Heckman (@TheRyanHeckman) April 30, 2022
That’s a lot of snaps to only give up one six-point conversion.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is happy with their transition to the NFL game so far. Eberflus said Gordon was “lighting it up” and Brisker’s development was going well. Brisker is projected by NFL writer Chad Reuter to make the “All-Rookie” team. The pair have excited other NFL insiders as well. PFF called the Bears’ secondary the most improved divisional rival unit.
Here’s some of Brisker’s highlights:
2. Jaylon Johnson and Eddie Jackson can focus on their role in the Chicago Bears secondary
The addition of Brisker and Gordon will let veterans cornerback Jaylon Johnson and safety Eddie Jackson focus on their role in the Chicago Bears secondary. When the Bears played with more mediocre talent in the Bears’ secondary last season, mistakes were made by both players as they tried to overcompensate.
This season with a new coaching staff is a “complete reset”, Johnson told reporters in May. After getting reps with the second team in the Bears OTA, Johnson said he needed to show the Bears what he can do in person.
Jackson wasn’t happy with his play in 2021. The sixth-year veteran called 2021 one of his worst seasons as he gave up too many deep balls. Eberflus told the media Jackson has a clean slate with the team coming into 2022. With Brisker focusing on the box, Jackson should be better at safety this season. And he can be a turnover machine.
3. Kindle Vildor won’t be in the Bears’ secondary as much on Sundays
Kindle Vildor starting in the Bears’ secondary last year was a nightmare to watch. Vildor gave up too many passes in critical situations in 2021. The final drive against the Baltimore Ravens was especially atrocious. It was so bad that Vildor was benched for Artie Burns.
Vildor reminds me of a former wide receiver turned cornerback. His Achilles Heel is that he attempts to cover a crappy route he would have run instead of the opponent’s wide receiver.
PFF rates the third-year cornerback at 50.2 overall. The two-time All-Sun Belt athlete is tied at 53rd with 40 receptions allowed. Vildor has defended 5 passes in his two seasons in the Bears’ secondary. To put that in perspective, Johnson has defended 24 passes in the same amount of time.
The Bears added depth at cornerback will net the Bears’ secondary another starter with Gordon alongside Johnson. With the addition of Tavon Young this offseason, it’s possible Vildor will be cut before the start of the season.
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