The Chicago Bears are set at starting safety.
When is the last offseason we could say that as Bears’ fans?
I can already hear some of you guys cringing at that first sentence because you either don’t trust second year pro Eddie Jackson to build off of his rookie year, or you have zero faith in Adrian Amos. These two had a solid year last year, and they did that because their skill sets were able to play off each other. I thought Quinton Demps, as the starting strong safety, was going to be perfect pairing with the rookie Jackson last year. When he went down, Amos stepped into the thumper role and he played with the confidence that comes when being in the same defense for his entire career.
Amos had a good year last year, and he’s been solid his entire career. There seems to be this split amongst Bears’ fans where you either think Amos is an elite safety — because PFF and Madden says he is — or you think he sucks.
This ignorance of the grey area annoys the hell out of me.
When I think of an “elite” safety, I want a game changer. I want a playmaker. For those of you that subscribe to the PFF line of thinking, what has been your favorite game changing moment of Amos’ career? Amos has forty career starts, but the only play that comes to mine is his 90-yard interception return from last season. That’s it.
For those of you that believe Amos sucks, what game has his mistake directly led to a loss? Are there a lot of missed gap assignments or blown coverages that come to mind when thinking about his three year career?
He understands his job, and he usually executes his assignment within the defense. His pairing with Eddie Jackson brought out the best in him and I’m excited to see how this duo grows together this season.
Amos is what he is, and what he is is a solid football player that could be still ascending at 25-years old.
As for Jackson, I gave my thoughts on him when I placed him on my annual Top 10 Most Important Bears’ list this year, #7 Eddie Jackson can be a star.
With the way he’s been mentioned by name this offseason, I also think Deon Bush is a lock. The Bears are happy with the 24-year old’s development after playing sporadically his first two years.
A good bet to make it
Last year the Bears opened up with four safeties on the 53-man roster. In 2016, they started out with six, and in 2015 it was five, so there’s no real pattern to what Vic Fangio wants at the position.
If they just go with just four, it may be a stretch to have one spot for special teams ace, DeAndre Houston-Carson. He hasn’t played much defense at all during his two years in Chicago (25 total snaps), but he’s really good in the third phase (10 tackles, 2 forced fumbles last year). It will be interesting to watch him play defense during preseason.
On the bubble
Corners Deiondre’ Hall and Jonathan Mincy, whom I went over in my look at the cornerbacks, are both listed on the depth chart at safety. Hall has bounced around between the two positions during his two years in Chicago, but he’s also had some injury issues, while Mincy was a stand out in the CFL last year at corner. These two will be need to prove worthy, but their versatility could garner one of them a spot on the opening day roster.
Undrafted free agent Nick Orr is listed at defensive back on the roster, but he’s on the unofficial depth chart as a safety.