The Chicago Bears drafted safety Adrian Amos in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft, and he spent four years in the Windy City before inking a four-year, $37 million contract with the Green Bay Packers in spring 2019.
Amos made a solid duo with safety Eddie Jackson while in Chicago, earning a 90.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2017, and a grade of 82.9 in 2018. He has fared well since leaving the Windy City, but Chicago hasn’t found a player who matches his skills in coverage.
The Bears paired Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with Jackson in 2019, and Tashaun Gipson with him in 2020 and again this season, but neither has been a difference-maker in the secondary. Clinton-Dix isn’t even in the league anymore, and Gipson has had a hard time staying healthy this season, missing two games. Robert Schmitz of SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron thinks the Bears may have an “Adrian Amos Lite” already on the roster, however.
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Schmitz: Deon Bush is ‘Adrian Amos Lite’
Veteran safety Deon Bush has been filling in during Gipson’s absence this season, and Schmitz, a top film analyst for WCG, tweeted that he thinks “Bush has an ‘Adrian Amos Lite’ energy to him,” and advocated for Bush to start over Gipson moving forward:
Bush has a 58.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus so far in this season in limited action. He has allowed opposing quarterbacks a passer rating of 109.7, and has given up 12.7 yards per reception. He has also missed five tackles. Over his career, Bush has allowed 23 receptions on 41 targets (56.1 reception percentage) and a 108.2 passer rating.
Amos currently has an overall grade of 66.0 from PFF. He has allowed 171 receptions on 241 targets (that’s 71%) and an opposing QB passer rating of 99.5. While Amos has certainly played better for longer, the numbers between the two safeties aren’t that far off this season.
Bush was selected by the Bears in the fourth round (124th overall) of the 2016 draft, and while he has been primarily a role player on special teams, he has had the opportunity to compete for the starting strong safety position opposite Jackson over the last several seasons. Gipson beat him out twice, but based on early returns this season, Chicago should consider letting Bush see the field more.
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Bush & Jackson Have Played Together Longer Than Anyone Else in Bears Secondary
Bush and Jackson, along with fellow safety DeAndre Houston-Carson, are on their fifth season together in Chicago. That’s longer than anyone else on the team’s secondary has played together.
“It hurts, especially to see a guy like Gip go down,” Jackson said about Gipson missing time, via Sports Illustrated. “But knowing that Bush and DHC are behind us we’re kind of (like) that comfort is still there, knowing they know the game, knowing how we play. We practice with them so still just having that type of chemistry.”
It’s unclear whether Bush is ultimately going to be the answer, but it is clear that he and Jackson have a solid chemistry. Hopefully DC Sean Desai continues to give him opportunities to grow.