Jack Sanborn gets a message from his defensive coach
After trading away Roquan Smith, the Chicago Bears turned to undrafted rookie free agent Jack Sanborn to stop an elite Miami Dolphins offense. The defense played about as well as one would expect them to, given they traded away Robert Quinn and Smith before the deadline.
The Bears were gashed 302 yards and the air and 77 more rushing yards. The Dolphins’ offense put up four of the team’s five touchdowns. Sanborn accounted for seven tackles, placing him second on the Bears’ defense for the most tackles behind rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon.
During Thursday’s press conference, defensive coordinator Alan Williams spoke about Sanborn’s performance. According to Chris Emma with The Score, Williams said Sanborn gave him a strong message of support for his first start in the NFL:
“First start, he looked like he belonged. Didn’t have errors. Tackled well. Ran around well. … Now let’s take one more step forward.”
Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams said of rookie linebacker Jack Sanborn: "First start, he looked like he belonged. Didn’t have errors. Tackled well. Ran around well. … Now let’s take one more step forward."
— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) November 10, 2022
Some stats suggest otherwise
Jack Sanborn had a lot asked of him in Week 9. The Dolphins present multiple challenges to the defense, and Sanborn stepped in as the weakside linebacker in place of an All-Pro. However, Sanborn’s performance was less than perfect. Williams did a good job of trying to tell the press something that just wasn’t true.
According to Pro Football Focus, Sanborn was graded 45.5 overall for his play against the Dolphins. He did well in creating stops, as PFF credited him with four stops. However, he was credited with missing a tackle. His pass coverage left much to be desired, as he gave up all three passes he was targeted on.
Jack Sanborn did well, considering the situation he inherited. But he still has much work to improve on this season. He’ll get the opportunity to take that next step against the Detroit Lions in Week 10.
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