Chicago Bears safety Jaquan Brisker is quietly having one of the best rookie campaigns of any defender.
Brisker was named to PFF’s midseason all-rookie team, earning a 69.9 overall grade in 675 total snaps played. The former Penn State standout has started all 11 games for the Bears so far this year, and he currently leads Chicago in sacks (3.0).
The 23-year-old safety has 73 total tackles (53 solo, five for loss), a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, three quarterback hits and an interception so far this season playing 99% of the team’s defensive snaps.
Brisker played 96% of Chicago’s snaps Week 11 in the Bears’ 27-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the fewest he’s played all year. He was taken off the field during the Falcons game — twice — by officials, and Brisker would like to know why.
Jaquan Brisker Says He’s not Sure Why Refs Pulled Him Out Twice Week 11
After the conclusion of the game against Atlanta, Brisker told the media he had no clue why the officials removed him from the game. “Twice, for no reason,” he said, adding: “Five hours later so, I don’t know what’s going on with that.”
Brisker also noted that the second time he was asked to come off the field by referees, the Falcons scored on the following play, which he had to watch from the sidelines. “The timing was very weird,” Brisker said. “They started a whole play, and then they end up calling me out and then scoring. I don’t know what was up with that.”
Brisker had a solid game against Atlanta. He punched the ball out of Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson’s hands with 7:37 left in the second quarter. It was the first forced fumble of Brisker’s career, and he became the first rookie in the league this year with multiple sacks, one or more interceptions and a forced fumble.
“He was running with the ball very loose and when he had cut back, I just went to go chase him, and then I just ended up punching it out,” Brisker said about the play. “It was a big boost because the offense ended up scoring that same drive and then we went up.”
The rookie safety led the team in tackles with 11 against the Falcons, and his 53 tackles lead all rookies so far this season.
Brisker Was Also Upset About the No-Calls on Justin Fields
The rookie safety also called out the inequality in roughing-the-passer calls he is seeing from officials. Bears quarterback Justin Fields was hit late against the Falcons, but no flag was thrown.
“If that was different quarterback, they would be throwing hella flags,” Brisker said, via NBC Sports. “A lot of flags. I feel like the league has to look at that. It’s crazy how many times he gets hit in the head every single game, but he still gets up. Gets hit out of bounds, late, or near the white.”
“If that was Tom Brady, Jared Goff, or anybody like that, they throwing flags immediately,” Brisker continued. “Just as you seen today. They threw a flag to (Falcons QB Marcus) Mariota, and he tripped over himself. I feel like they got to respect Justin some more and look at him as a quarterback because, obviously, there you should be more flags. He’s getting targeted every single game and none of them are being thrown.”
We’ll see if the league provides Brisker and the Bears a reason for pulling him out multiple times. As of November 22, two days after the Falcons game, they still haven’t.