The Bears have a proud history of defense and on that side of the ball, they have had stalwarts at positions such as defensive end, linebacker and cornerback.
Safety isn’t necessarily the first position that is thought of when thinking about great Bears defenders but there have been many. Froom Ritchie Petitbon to Rosey Taylor and from Gary Fencik to Mike Brown, Chicago has seen some great safeties throughout the years.
Since Mike Brown left back in 2008 though, the Bears have struggled to find a long term starter at the position. They have cycled through draft picks both low and high but haven’t been able to find a guy to really hold the safety spot down.
Now granted Eddie Jackson, a fourth-round pick, is only 13 games into his career. Still, there is a lot to like about it so far.
For starters, there have been few plays where Jackson was glaringly out of position or burned. He’s been beat, out of position, but I’m hard pressed to think of an instance where he wasn't where he was supposed to be, especially over the last four games or so.
Jackson has also been able to be an impact player as well. He’s made game-changing plays and had a knack for getting turnovers, many of his own creation.
Through 13 games, he has 38 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, six pass break-ups, one forced fumble, two defensive touchdowns.
He is the first Bears player to have at least two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a pick-six, and a fumble recovered touchdown since Wilbur Marshall in 1986.
If that oddly specific stat line doesn’t cause much excitement, how about this: Jackson is the first Bears player to have two interceptions and two fumble recoveries as a rookie since Chris Harris back in 2005. Other Bears rookies to do that include Walt Harris, Mark Carrier, Mike Richardson, Virgil Livers and Dick Butkus.
Not bad company to keep.
Jackson isn’t perfect. He can improve as a tackler and wrap up better. But the early results show that he can be a playmaker in the deep secondary that Chicago hasn’t had for the better part of a decade.