Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai isn’t planning on moving All-Pro safety Eddie Jackson to cornerback — unless it’s absolutely necessary, that is.
The new Bears DC spoke to the media recently and had some pretty interesting things to say about the cornerback position in particular. After letting All-Pro Kyle Fuller walk this offseason due to salary cap constraints, the Bears have added veteran Desmond Trufant to presumably replace him. With Jaylon Johnson and Trufant the team’s likely starters at corner, Duke Shelley, Artie Burns, Teez Tabor and Kindle Vildor will provide depth behind them.
While Chicago doesn’t exactly have any household names at corner, when he was asked about it, Desai said he likes where his unit is at the position. “I think Kindle showed that he belongs in this league last year in the reps that he took, so I think he’s going to have a chance to compete at various positions,” Desai said. “The good thing about the way our teaching philosophy is — we try to make sure guys know multiple spots. That helps us on game day with depth, and that’s been a philosophy of mine and our defensive staff since the beginning.”
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Desai Mentions Eddie Jackson as Possible Corner Option
“We’re going to have a lot of competition at nickel as well,” Desai added, before including a very interesting wrinkle: “We’ve had guys that have played there in games in terms of Duke and even DHC (DeAndre Houston-Carson) has played in games. Eddie Jackson has played in games in that position.”
It’s interesting he mentions Jackson, specifically, as the veteran safety has minimal experience in the gap, but is still versatile enough to fill in there if needed.
“I’m not saying he’s going to play there, but we’ve had enough competition at those positions that we’ve got enough depth where we’ll be able to solve that problem. It’s a good problem to have because when it’s an open competition I think you get the best out of all the players on your roster,” the new Bears DC said.
Basically, if the injury bug bites the hell out of the secondary, or everything else fails on defense, we could see the All-Pro safety switch over to corner.
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Bears Should Have More Consistency in Secondary This Season
After re-signing Tashaun Gipson to a one-year deal, Chicago will maintain the same starting safety duo in Gipson and Jackson for the first time since the 2018 season, when Adrian Amos and Jackson played together in back-to-back years during 2017-18.
Desai referenced another once-great Chicago sports franchise when noting why this consistency in the secondary should be a good thing for the Bears.
“If you wanna be good, like when those Bulls teams were good in the 90s, they had the same players playing over and over and they were communicating with each other and that helps. And for us, that’s what’s gonna help us in the back end,” Desai said.
“When Gip and BoJack are back there and they’re communicating and handling all of the coverage assignments, that helps because now they know how each other plays. They know what each other’s preferences are and how to take care of different issues on the back end and I think that’s the biggest growth that we’ll see there.”