Fired Up Bears Defense Shows Tremendous Promise

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chicago bears defense

The Chicago Bears defense got handed precisely nothing from the offense for almost the entire first half of the preseason opener against Denver. Mike Glennon threw a pick-six on a horrible throw. Cody Whitehair somehow snapped another over his head for a fumble. Then Mark Sanchez and his unit was plagued by drops and miscues. So to explain that and say the defense managed to give up just three points in that span? That’s definitely a win.

In fact there were plenty of moments worth getting excited about for this group. Leonard Floyd kicked things off with a bang. It’s been reported for weeks that he’s heavier than last year and hasn’t lost any of his speed. Not only that but his hand technique and fundamentals are better as well. He decided to play show-and-tell with a sack of Trevor Siemian on the first defensive play of the game.

If that continues and the Bears can get Pernell McPhee back healthy? Oh my this could be a fun ride in 2017.

Chicago Bears defense also showcased improved tackling

One of the first things that stood out about the effort from the first and second defensive units was their tackling. Normally this time of year it’s sloppy. They can’t wrap guys up and take bad angles. There wasn’t much of either through the first three quarters. The defensive line, linebackers and secondary all did their part in limiting extra yards.

It wasn’t until the third stringers came in that the breakdowns arrived, allowing Denver to escape with a win on two late touchdowns. One resulting from a busted coverage, the other courtesy of a long run aided by a hold that wasn’t called. Regardless the final score didn’t matter. The real part of the defense performed up to standards for the most part.

Eddie Jackson looked like the real deal

The most encouraging thing to see was the performance of the Bears draft class. Every notable rookie had his positive moments. Mitch Trubisky and Tarik Cohen looked outstanding. Adam Shaheen had some decent moments. However, people almost overlooked safety Eddie Jackson.

A fourth round pick from Alabama, experts weren’t sure how to feel about him. He came into Chicago still healing from a broken leg. Former coaches and teammates swore the Bears had gotten a steal, but pessimism reigned. It didn’t take Jackson long to show what they might have. On a number of plays in the game he showed impressive play recognition and closing speed.

In one instant he almost had an interception and on another he drove down to make a nice tackle. Something critics weren’t sure he could do.

If he can build on that and apply to actual games that matter, then the Bears defense is in that much better shape. People have felt the one thing they’re missing is good safety play. This game showed that they might be right.