Former New England Patriots All-Pro safety Rodney Harrison has seen it all when it comes to quarterback play. Harrison spent the final six seasons of his career watching a young Tom Brady lead the Pats to two Super Bowl victories in that time. Harrison also played with the then-San Diego Chargers for his first nine seasons, and he also saw the ultimate of QB busts when he watched Ryan Leaf enter and promptly exit the league.
Harrison recently was interviewed on the Under Center podcast, and when co-host J.J. Stankevitz asked for his thoughts about the Chicago Bears in 2020, Harrison said he likes the defensive side of the ball, singling one player out in particular: All-Pro safety Eddie Jackson. Harrison said he thinks Jackson deserves to be the highest-paid safety in the league, and he had nothing but praise for the fourth-year defensive back. “I think this young player is a terrific player … good size, great instincts, everything that you want in an All-Star caliber safety.”
His thoughts about the Bears offense, however, weren’t so positive.
Follow the Heavy on Bears Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Rodney Harrison: Bears Have Too Many Question Marks on Offense
“I just have question marks on the offensive side of the ball,” Harrison said, before essentially presenting a laundry list of issues he has. “You wait until the seventh round to pick an offensive lineman when you’ve had offensive line problems? You got a new quarterback in Nick Foles who is a stiff. You got Mitchell Trubisky, who, after he got injured, he seemed like he was afraid to run the football, he was afraid to throw the ball downfield, so there’s a lot of question marks for the Bears on the offensive side of the ball — and they specifically brought [Matt] Nagy in to fix that,” Harrison said.
He then went all in on GM Ryan Pace for the way he has handled the quarterback position. “You didn’t pick up his fifth-year option, but yet the general manager comes out and says ‘I believe in him.’ If you believe in him, you would have never brought Nick Foles in. If you believe in him, you would have picked up his fifth-year option, so cut the B.S. Just keep it real. ‘Hey Mitchell Trubisky, he struggled, we thought he was gonna be on a different level, he wasn’t on that level, we brought in Nick Foles.’ That’s what we, as fans, we see. We see that.”
Harrison also has very little belief in Nick Foles. “Can he play outside of Philly? Can he stay healthy? You know, it’s a lot of question marks, man.”
Harrison Suggests Bears’ Problems Have Primarily Been Due to Trubisky
When Stankevitz asked Harrison when he sees when he watches the Bears offense, and whether Nagy’s play-calling was a primary problem, Harrison replied: “I saw Trubisky, when he drops back, he stares at the first read. That’s not open. He goes to the second read, but he’s kinda hesitant because he’s so focused on that first read. If that’s not open he panics, and it’s like, OK, run, take off, try to manipulate, try to do something, and I don’t see the consistency in the play-calling, and obviously, you’re not gonna have that when you don’t have your guy at the quarterback position.”
Harrison also thinks Pace may not have a job if Trubisky proves to be a bust. “I like Mitch, I thought Mitch was going to be a very athletic guy. I’ve criticized the Bears for moving past Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes and those things, but any other organization — you make a pick like that, you don’t pick Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson, you’re getting fired,” he said.
As it turns out, the 2020 NFL season may be the most unconventional — and critical — year the Bears have seen in recent memory.