The 2017 Chicago Bears secondary is completely in flux, and at this point in time nobody really has any idea what it will look like.
Kenneth Arthur, managing editor at our sister site Field Gulls and a contributor to SportsOnEarth doesn’t think the Bears are in very good shape at all in the defensive backfield. Arthur rated the secondaries of all 32 NFL teams in an article and he doesn’t sound very impressed by the 2017 Chicago Bears lineup.
Arthur states: “It should be shocking that Chicago was only average-to-below-average in pass defense last season. I don't think that trend can continue. Chicago declined Fuller's fifth-year option, and signed former bust Amukamara and continuous letdown Marcus Cooper. I don't see how John Fox can keep his job through 2018 with such little talent there.”
Chicago has made some drastic changes in the secondary via both free agency and the draft, but as Bears fans know Chicago General Manager Ryan Pace didn’t land any of the “top name free agents” on the market. Arthur apparently isn’t a fan of Prince Amukamara or Marcus Cooper & doesn’t mention either rookie draft pick Eddie Jackson or free agent signee Quintin Demps in any positive way.
Honestly, nobody in Chicago (or anywhere else) has any idea if the Bears will improve their play in the defensive backfield over 2016’s nearly turnover-free effort. Will Kyle Fuller make a comeback? Can Eddie Jackson be healthy and win a starting job? Will Bryce Callahan and Cre’von Leblanc develop and stay healthy? Will Marcus Cooper continue to turn his career around coming off of a pro-bowl alternate season in 2016? We just don’t know.
Chicago wasn’t the only team in the division to dwell at the bottom of Arthur’s list. He’s even harder on Chicago’s NFC division foe Detroit, who he places dead last in the NFL for secondary talent.
“Can it really be this bad if Detroit made the playoffs last season?” says Arthur. “I say that it can. Despite a 9-7 record, the Lions featured one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL (32nd in DVOA), and their biggest offseason move to improve the secondary was selecting rookie Teez Tabor, one of the slowest corners in the draft. Signing Hayden shouldn't give fans any comfort either. This was a horrible secondary in 2016 and Detroit decided the best course of action would be to keep it exactly the same.”
In comments made on our sister site Pride of Detroit, POD Managing Editor Jeremy Reisman disagreed: “There’s obviously a lot to disagree with here. For example, I’m not sure how spending a second-round and a fifth-round pick on cornerback is deciding to keep the secondary the same. And no mention of Darius Slay, Glover Quin or the potential development of Miles Killebrew? Still, it’s interesting to see how the outside world views the Lions defensive backfield.”
He ranks the Vikings at a reasonable #5 on his list, but has the Packers surprisingly high (at least in my opinion) at #22 after coming off of a disastrous season for that unit.
It’s hard to argue that Chicago deserves to be anywhere but near the bottom of the heap until such time as the players step up and perform better than the last two years squads have.
What do you think about his rankings?