After the 2015 season ended, cornerback was atop many offseason needs lists for the Chicago Bears. The starting tandem of Tracy Porter and Kyle Fuller was underwhelming in many fan's minds. The revolving nickleback position left some Bears' fans scratching their heads most of the season too. Undrafted free agent Bryce Callahan eventually took over the slot corner role, but there wasn't a lot of people rejoicing about his prospects at the position.
The Bears' re-signing of Porter was met with disappointment or apathy from most. I don't recall too many that were in favor of bringing the veteran back for $12 million over three years. He seemed to be a calming, veteran influence in the secondary, but with him turning 30 in August, the hope was the Bears would have grabbed a younger, better free agent option.
The Bears did address corner in the draft and with a few undrafted rookies, but on paper, the Bears' top trio at corner appear to be set with Porter, Fuller and Callahan.
And that may be OK.
Yesterday we brought you this story, Sports Illustrated names Bears' Bryce Callahan as the 7th best nickleback in the NFL, which I found a bit surprising. But the more I thought about it, Callahan did play solid football last year. He had a few bumps and bruises that hindered him, but a full offseason working as apro shoudl only help his conditioning, flexibility and strength.
Also yesterday, I came across this story on NFL.com where they ranked the Chicago CB duo of Porter and Fuller as the 5th best in the NFL.
In 2015, this pair led a Bears defense that ranked fourth in the league in passing yards allowed. In Fuller's first two NFL seasons, I've seen that he possesses all of the intangibles to be a great corner -- height (5-11), speed, coverage skills and anticipation. When Fuller was targeted last year, his opponents caught less than 50 percent of their passes. Porter, who played a valuable role in the Saints' run to Super Bowl XLIV, came on strong late last season after missing the first two games. This year, I expect Fuller and Porter to lead an improved Bears' defense -- with offseason additions Danny Trevathan and first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd.
What do you guys think?
Are the Bears' corners better than we thought?
Could the revamped front 7 make their play even better this year?