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Hoge’s Bears Things: Young secondary might end up being a big strength

Adam Hoge Avatar
August 3, 2023

Happy Thursday!

Boy, yesterday was a chippy day at Halas Hall and the offense certainly experienced some struggles.

But on the flip side…

The Bears’ secondary is making a big impression. Second-year cornerback Kyler Gordon has had as strong a training camp as anyone, and that’s a massive development considering he was general manager Ryan Poles’ first-ever draft pick. Now focused only on the nickel corner position, Gordon’s versatility is shining. In one team period yesterday, Gordon delivered an interception, a tackle for loss and a sack in a matter of minutes. I guess those are the “Spidey senses” the coaches have been talking about.

Meanwhile, second-year safety Jaquan Brisker is also having a strong camp and there’s a fun, competitive battle between rookies Tyrique Stevenson and Terrell Smith for the No. 2 cornerback spot. Add in veteran safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Jaylon Johnson, and I don’t view the secondary as a weakness at all. 

In fact, it might be one of the team’s strengths. 

What’s interesting is that is not how the unit is being viewed nationally. Pro Football Focus ranked the Bears’ secondary 20th overall this offseason, although they did say they “expect much better play from this unit in 2023.” Sharp Football Analysis ranks the unit 23rd. 

A lot of that is based on last year’s play, which wasn’t great, but this unit has a good mix of youth with veteran savvy and is pointed in the right direction. Most of the chirping coming from the defense in Wednesday’s spirited practice came from the secondary. They aren’t afraid to let receivers know when they’ve won a rep. 

“Every little thing they do well, the DBs are always hyping stuff up,” quarterback Justin Fields said. “They’re always ‘ahhhhh,’ and that just gets the whole defense going. I told the offense today that we just need to have that same juice as the defense.”

Up Next: The Bears have an off day Thursday and the CHGO Bears crew will take one as well. I, for one, can’t wait to see how the offense responds on Friday. We’ll have you covered at Halas Hall Friday morning and recap it for you live at 3 p.m. CT on the CHGO Bears Podcast. 

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