58 Comments

The Positional Quick 3: Secondary

| June 25th, 2018

I’m traveling in Dingle, Ireland years ago and I’m exhausted. This was my first day ever in Europe and I couldn’t keep my eyes open at 4:30 in the afternoon. My uncle turns to me and says, “Have a quick three. You’ll be fine.” I drank three Guinness in the span of a half hour. Seven hours later I’m dancing to a shitty Irish house DJ with Jenny Pye, a local lass who dreamed of being an EMT in New York City.

I’m very tired of this 2018 off-season. And incredibly eager for the season to begin. So I’m taking the quick three approach to each position group as we head into the summer. Not grading the groups or anything. Just making some points.


Secondary

  • Is there a star at the back of this defense? PFF says Adrian Amos is. (He’s not.) Kyle Fuller often flashes star qualities but he’s not one of the top corners in the league. Every time I try to convince myself this could be the best defense in the league, I find myself wondering how that’s possible with questionable outside rush and no stars at the back. I think they’ll be a terrific unit but they need more elite-level talents at these impact positions.
  • What’s up with this PFF/Adrian Amos shit? It’s bizarre. Amos is a decent enough player but “coming close to elite status”? I’ve seen every snap of his career. A lot of them twice. And while I think he’s a player the Bears can win with, I also can’t name anything he does at an elite level. He’s a good box safety. He’s serviceable with the ball in the air. He doesn’t get out of position too often. But Harrison Smith is what a great safety looks like. Amos don’t look like that.
  • There is a tremendous amount of pressure on Fuller this season. Two years ago he never overcame an injury many considered minor and had coaches publicly questioning his desire to play. Last year he was the player the Bears expected when they selected him in the first round and he got paid. If he doesn’t deliver on that contract in 2018, a suspect fan base will not be giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Data & Andrew, tomorrow and Wednesday. Thursday: Defensive coaches.

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  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    The only way Amos could come near the top of a list of safeties is if they were listed alphabetically

    • right before Afalava!

      • BerwynBomber

        But right after Adam Archuleta

        • TomC

          Remind me when I need a secretary *not* to call youse two.

  • That Guy

    I’m excited to see what Jackson does with a year in the system, and another year removed from his injury.

    • Scharfinator

      I’m with you. Hopefully he improves on what was a solid rookie season.

  • T.dyon

    Lots of chatter surrounding many players on the team. However, haven’t heard anything about Jackson.

  • Big Mike

    Amos get’s the job done in a lot of ways. The way PFF scores, consistency and avoiding mistakes are given a higher premium, than impact plays. Maybe rightfully so. Amos is a good player on the rise.

  • CanadaBear

    I thought Amos played really well last year at SS. Definitely brings the wood. Gotta like that. I think the pairing of him and Jackson will be very effective going forward. Jackson is much better with the ball in the air and Amos is much better at thumping people.

    • Bob Doll

      I know we’ve seen much substandard safety play for many,many years….and Lovie’s defense put an enormous amount of pressure on that position which tended to expose and reveal any shortcomings…Safety is a position that I’m not worried about this year…the first for me since the Mike Brown era.

      • CanadaBear

        If they stay healthy I’m right there with ya.

        • If they stay healthy is the key. There is zero depth behind them. If one of them gets hurt that position turns into a big issue in a hurry.

  • BerwynBomber

    Agree about the PFF/Amos stuff. Wacky. Amos though, to his credit, had his best season as a pro.

    The secondary should be no worse than average.

    Fuller played like a PBer last year. Jackson could be our best FS in years. Even guys like Callahan and LeBlanc are good/solid in their roles.

    The weakest links, IMO, are Amos and Prince, considering where they reside on the depth chart. But they’re serviceable as starters.

    • CanadaBear

      I like AA a lot more than PA but both are at least solid.

      • BerwynBomber

        More upside given his youth but I could see their careers tracking about the same except for the position difference. Average starters. Not much else. Unless Amos has truly made the leap, which I doubt.

        • CanadaBear

          I thought he was balling last season. Esp delivering the hits.

          • BerwynBomber

            I thought he showed improvement, but I am with Jeff, he was nowhere near “elite”. That PFF stuff can be wacky.

          • CanadaBear

            True dat.

  • Bob Doll

    It is hard for players to be considered “elite” when playing on a losing team though the truly great, like Payton, transcend the roadblock. Like the author said, the backfield has not done that…though I remember a certain cornerback, Tim Jennings, who played solidly but kept missing/dropping INT opportunities…then suddenly, he didn’t drop them and he made pro bowl and was considered a top CB for a short period…imo, that is what our secondary needs to leap from good to great…turnovers. If they turn that on they could leap to the top of the heap….without that, they will be a good defense, fundamentally sound but lacking star quality and would not carry a team deep into the play offs. This season is still stacking up to be an exciting one and I truly believe the Bears will be a good bit better than most think…all predicated on staying healthy

    • CanadaBear

      They were terrible at INT’s (have been for the last 3 years) but they did really well on recovered fumbles last year. Let’s hope there is no regression in fumble recoveries and the INT’s start landing in the Bears hands. Having a better pass rush will really help with INT’s. Nothing like throwing before you want to!

      • AlbertInTucson

        Watched REDZONE replay yesterday to enjoy the Bears performance against the Bengals.. Amukamora steps in front ofs Green for what SHOULD have been a walk-in pick 6. Instead, it bounces of his hands, over his head and into Green’s waiting arms for a nice gain.

        • JC

          Wasn’t that the same game that Jackson ripped the ball out of Green’s hands at the catch point?

          • AlbertInTucson

            Indeed, it was. Call had to be overturned to get it right. If they had made the correct call, Jackson would have had an opportunity for a nice return.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I blame the no-INTs on Fangio. No pressure = no interceptions.

        • CanadaBear

          We know!

        • JC

          I blame it more on the lack of pressure on opposing offenses to have to score. Give the defense a lead once in a while and they can take more chances.

    • Behind Walter in terms of transcending bad teams, you have guys like Earl Campbell and Leroy Selmon. More recent examples would be Joe Thomas.

      • I think Sayers and Butkus only made the playoffs once, which boggles the mind.

        Always respected Barry Sanders for playing in vintage Loins teams, though I think there were a few good seasons sprinkled in.

        Before my age, but supposedly Archie Manning could’ve been a lot better, but played on some really shit Aints team.

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          Archie Manning was the original Jay Cutler.

        • CanadaBear

          Butkus and Sayers never were in the playoffs.

          • oh wow. I thought they made it once.
            How about Archie. You saw him play.
            Was he good on a shitty team or overhyped?

          • CanadaBear

            Never saw Archie live but saw him numerous times back in the day. Good QB/scrambler on terrible teams. A slightly better version of Cutler on really bad teams is how I remember him. Could be way off.

          • Ah, cool. Yeah, I remember seeing a bit of him in highlights and the older coaches lauding him, but never saw him play seasons since b4 my time.

            I guess a fan can understand a lil better why he didn’t want Eli to play on a cheap shit team like he did.

          • CanadaBear

            It seemed like he was perpetually playing from behind.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Neither Sayers nor Butkus ever saw the post season. 9-5 in their rookie season of 1965 was their only winning season. I think they would have won the Central in ‘68 if Sayers doesn’t blow out his knee in about Game 8. They finished 7-7 that season by infamously losing to the Don Horn led Packers in the season finale. 8-6 would have won the division.

      • SC Dave

        Megatron

      • Irish Sweetness

        Barry Sanders all day long.

        • Johnnywad

          All. Day. Long.

  • I think Jackson is destined to be a top-shelf playmaking safety, and I think we see that start this year. He was close on a lot of plays last year, but just a split second late. The breaks will come a split second earlier once he’s more comfortable in the defense and reads better.

    I also want to see Fuller force more turnovers. That’s just not something Prince (8 INTs in 7 seasons) or Callahan (2 in 3) do, but Fuller can. He should have had 4 or 5 last year, but dropped a few pretty easy ones. Make those catches this year.

    • AlbertInTucson

      His game against Carolina set the bar pretty high.

  • KentuckyBearsFan

    If there’s a “secondary,” there should be a primary. I’m protesting until I can find something more futile.

  • Change of gears. Rolling Stones interviews Depp.

    “Depp lived an ultra-extravagant lifestyle that often
    knowingly cost Depp in excess of $2 million a month to maintain, which
    he simply could not afford.” The suit claims Depp did give millions to
    Christi and other friends and family, but that the star knew all about
    it and still employed those who benefited from his money.

    Kumppressed on, arguing that “Depp has also spent millions to employ an
    army of attorneys” – in addition to his longtime personal attorney Bloom
    – “to bail him out of numerous legal crises” and pay “hush money.” Some
    of the charges seem like cheap shots. TMG offered no specifics about
    the hush money and legal crises. His taxes? The suit alleges that they
    were paid late because Depp was chronically cash poor.

    Thepurchases listed by TMG read like Depp gave his wallet to a tween with
    ADD. There was $75 million for 14 residences. He spent $3 million to
    shoot his pal Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes into the sky from a cannon. A
    mere $7,000 to buy his daughter a couch from the set of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
    He bought some 70 guitars and 200 pieces of art, including Basquiats
    and Warhols, owned 45 luxury vehicles and spent $200,000 a month on
    private air travel.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/features/johnny-depp-lawsuit-marriage-w521671

    • willbest

      File that under 95% of Hollywood doesn’t have their personal lives in order.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Along with way too many well-paid athletes…?

    • CanadaBear

      When a reporter asked Tug McGraw (Tim’s dad) what he did with his signing bonus. I spent half on booze and broads and wasted the other half.

      • Johnnywad

        Younger and single, that’s precisely what I would do. You only go around once. And what’s better than women?

        • CanadaBear

          You’re preaching to the choir!

  • Prince might be getting sold short. He may not get INTs, but weren’t opponents passing away from him? Seemed like they were purposefully attacking Fuller, which I couldn’t figure out given the high level Fuller was playing, which led to a lot of stats for him.

    Maybe someone has a # on that to see if I’m remembering correctly.

    I linked the Amos article before, so won’t rehash. They didn’t bring in Demps for nothing last yr.
    Maybe that finally lit a fire under Amos. He seemed a bit faster esp in coverage last yr.
    He still has stone hands, but if he can bat balls and hammer receivers, that’ll due as long as Jackson becomes the ballhawk.

    I also believe the lack of INTs is schematic.

    Fangio employs trail technique, right? So they’re basically with their backs to the ball reading the receiver’s eyes and body language as to when the ball is arriving. That’s NOT an easy method to get INTs, unlike say Lovie D where the entire secondary has eyes on QB/RB.

    In other words, I don’t really expect the INTs to go up dramatically this year, unless Amos finds a new pair of hands, and Jackson just blows up.

  • AlbertInTucson

    June 25, 1876.

    George Armstrong Custer defines “Overconfidence”.

  • It’s likely not popular, but I would have loved the Bears to have been on Hard Knocks this season.

    It would’ve been really cool seeing Trub’s 2nd season under a modern O. The interaction with the new coaches. The mingling of pricey FAs like Burton, Gabriel, Allen with rooks like Roq, Nichols, Miller

    And getting a sense of the mostly returning D. Fuller getting paid. Prince extended. If Floyd still looks like a WR without pads. How Amos and Jackson are progressing.

    And the Bears are in the HOF game too.

    I think the rules bar Hard Knocks on a new coaching staff, but those are exactly the teams fans wanna watch cuz they usually provide a lot of turn over, hope and intrigue.

    Oh. Well.

    • willbest

      If I just guaranteed a guy $16-20 million, I would be nervous giving athletes who might be going through some transition pains extra opportunities to express their concerns and say something they might not be able to take back

      • Fox was rather horrible, but he did seem to weed out a lot of the malcontents.

        I don’t think any Bears wanting a big pay day will cause a big fuss. And if Nagy is the HC we all hope him to be, it shouldn’t be an issue.

        Plus, who really is due – Goldman?

        meh

  • willbest

    Luke Cage season 2 is boring. And this is something I notice about Netflix shows generally. They have great concepts and a solid first season, but the 2nd season is subpar

    • Was gonna throw it on the other day. I liked the 1st season. Thought it was pretty gritty and realistic for marvel universe.
      I’ll likely watch it anyways.
      Finished the Punisher a few weeks back. It was really dark and touches on the borderline sado-masochistic nature of some in black ops.
      Not much seperates The Punisher from “the villain”.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Westworld season 2 is better season 1 for me, I haven’t watched the finale yet, but it took the AI storyline to the next level.

      Might look into Billy Bob Thornton’s new series, Goliath. Anyone see that yet?

  • Irish Sweetness

    Broken record on my end, I know, but without a pass rush … ANY secondary will suck. Receivers get open.

    Fix the pass rush and your guys in the secondary look better straight away.

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