The Chicago Bears defense has had a ton of success this season, and much of it has come via their front seven. From the defensive line to the linebackers, they’ve been able to control the line of scrimmage and give offenses a hard time every week. However, there has been one nagging frustration. That being the edge rushers. Outside of Khalil Mack, nobody has really asserted themselves on at that position so far in eight games.
Aaron Lynch has done fine with 14 pressures and three sacks. The big disappointment is Leonard Floyd. He’s had 196 pass rush snaps so far in 2018 and the former 1st round pick has 12 pressures and no sacks to show for it. One person who’s grown fed up with him is Louis Riddick.
A former safety and longtime executive, the current ESPN analyst believes it’s about time the Bears gave those snaps to somebody who can do something with them. He even had a name already in mind. Somebody who didn’t get a chance to play this season until the trip to Buffalo last week, but didn’t waste his opportunity.
Riddick says Chicago Bears have to get Isaiah Irving more snaps
Isaiah Irving arrived in Chicago with minimal fanfare in 2017. He was a moderately successful defensive end for San Jose State that the Bears front office liked. So he was signed as an undrafted free agent. After spending time on the practice squad last year, he was promoted to the active roster and has remained there since but has yet to get significant playing time.
At last he got a chance during the blowout in Buffalo and didn’t waste them. In 29 pass rush snaps, he delivered two pressures including a sack. Think about that. Irving has played just 16.41% of the rush snaps that Floyd has and already has more sacks than him. This would explain why Riddick was interested in seeing him play more.
“I’ll tell you what, there’s another guy who kept jumping out at me in terms of how he plays the game. Alright? As just how he plays, his body type, and who I think honestly? They need to get on the field more.
That’s Isaiah Irving, the outside linebacker from San Jose State. They need to play him. I’m not telling Vic Fangio what to do. I love Vic Fangio. Respect the heck out of him. That kid needs to be on the field more than Leonard Floyd if you ask me.
He’s that kind of physicality, he gives the kind of physicality that you need along with a guy like Khalil, along with a guy like Aaron Lynch as that third guy to just roll through there to have him come on the field and just try and bull rush people and play with a physicality in the pass rush game at the point of attack.”
It’s hard to argue against the idea at this point
Irving has flashed consistently for the Bears since his rookie season. He has pass rush capability. They just haven’t gotten him on the field because he wasn’t really needed. Last year Floyd was playing better and they had veterans like Pernell McPhee, Willie Young, and Lamarr Houston in place. It’s not the case this year and with Sam Acho injured and Floyd invisible? Riddick has a point.
Maybe it’s time to get Irving more playing time. The Bears won’t know what they really have until they give him a legitimate chance to play. If he flops, then they have their answer. Still, there’s always the possibility he runs with it to greater success.