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This series of Five Questions With... will focus on not only the 2015 draft class for the Chicago Bears, but some of the undrafted free agents as well. This series of articles has become one of my favorites to do here at Windy City Gridiron, as I feel it gives us an added insight to the new players on the Bears.
Next up is our Q&A with Matt de Bear, senior writer for Black Shoe Diaries, the SB Nation site that covers the Penn State Nittany Lions, about the Bears' 5th round draft pick, safety Adrian Amos.
Windy City Gridiron - Amos talked about scouts knocking him for his coverage ability and praising his physicality early in his Penn State career, then flip flopping to criticize his tackling and run support while lauding his coverage skills in 2014. What did you see from Amos last year, is he a physical enough presence to remain at safety in the NFL?
Black Show Diaries - I have thought Amos was destined for safety for quite awhile. Because of the scholarship and depth situation Penn State found itself in over the past few years, Amos was forced into a cornerback role, despite both former coach Bill O'Brien, and (current head coach) James Franklin likely preferring him at safety. This past season, with the emergence of a couple of younger corners, Amos was able to settle in more as a safety. I think having that defined spot will help him settle into safety.
WCG - How was Amos mostly used last year, single high, 2 deep, up in the box...?
BSD - The short answer is everything. Penn State's defensive coordinator Bob Shoop employs a scheme that uses one of his safeties as a hybrid DB/LB. Once Amos moved permanently from the corner, he settled into that spot.
WCG - As a mid round draft pick Amos will probably need to play the special teams as a rookie, providing he makes the team, did he spend much time at Penn State doing that?
BSD - With the depth situation, you would think Amos was asked to do a bit of everything, but he did not see any time on special teams after his freshman year. O'Brien preferred to play it safe with his starters, relying on reserves. Franklin used more starters, but Amos did not see much time there. With that said, he is the type of player that will do whatever the team needs from him.
WCG - When current Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was in San Francisco last year, the 49ers used a rookie safety in the nickelback role, how did Amos fare while playing nickel in college?
BSD - Between his athleticism, and experience at plenty of spots on defense, Amos was effective as a nickelback at PSU. He has the quickness to hang with a slot receiver, and the strength to handle the larger, slot tight end types that plenty of NFL teams utilize.
WCG - There was a discrepancy in the 40 times from his pro day (4.39) and from the combine (4.56), so bottom line does Amos play fast on the field?
BSD - To be honest, Amos' speed never stood out, at least in the sense that he was running all over the field. What does stand out is the speed he plays the game. He is a very smart player, and that has always allowed him to position himself well, and yes, he does have the speed to make the play.
Thanks again to Matt de Bear of Black Shoe Diaries for giving us the inside info on Adrian Amos!