Bears’ Matt Nagy Hypes Surprising Player Involved in Key Position Battle

Bears coach Matt Nagy

Getty Head coach, Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears.

Cornerback is one of the biggest question marks for the Chicago Bears this coming season, which makes head coach Matt Nagy’s latest comments all the more intriguing. After letting All-Pro starter Kyle Fuller walk during free agency, the Bears are going to start second-year standout Jaylon Johnson on one side (likely the right), while second-year corner Kindle Vildor and veterans Desmond Trufant and Artie Burns will all compete for the other slot.

When Nagy met with the media during mandatory veteran minicamps, he talked a bit about the players that had stood out to him so far, and he singled out one of the young corners in particular.

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Vildor Has Been ‘Flashing’ Early on, Nagy Says

According to Nagy, the increased reps he has been seeing has helped Vildor blossom. “He’s definitely flashing,” Nagy said about Vildor on June 16. “Every play you get, every rep you get, you get a little bit more experience, a little more confidence and you can play faster. The stuff that goes on on the offensive side of the ball slows down for you and your reactionary skills are better. And what I think you see is you start seeing a lot more of what we saw on tape at Georgia Southern and where he was.”

The Bears selected Vildor in the 5th round of the draft last year, and he played just 95 snaps in coverage, allowing a passer rating of 131.9 to opposing quarterbacks, per PFF. He allowed 11 catches on 15 targets, getting burned for two touchdowns, but he also showed enough in coverage to compete for the position this year.

“Kindle showed that he belongs in this league last year in the reps that he took last year,” new Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai said about Vildor in May. “So I think he’s going to have a chance to compete at various positions.”

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Nagy: Vildor Has Become More Vocal

“He’s also becoming more vocal,” Nagy said in reference to the 5-foot-11, 180-pound corner. “These rookies come in last year and they don’t meet a lot of guys and they’re coming in and he’s coming in backing up some guys. Now? He’s a little more vocal and you’re seeing him let his personality show. That’s a big plus for us.”

The Bears coach noted that despite the limited contact per minicamp rules, Vildor has still managed to distinguish himself.

“These guys are not allowed to press, you can’t come up and press. There’s not a lot of man that goes on, it’s a lot of zone and it’s just what the rules are. But when you’re anticipating, when you’re playing within the defense, when you’re playing with confidence you’re making plays on the ball which he’s always had ball skills, you play faster and the game slows down and we’re seeing that. And we need that from him,” Nagy added.

It’s too early to tell who will win the starting job, and much will be determined when the pads go on when training camp starts, but hearing good things about Vildor after an up and down rookie season is encouraging to say the least.

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