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An Apology to Prince Amukamara

For one night, at least, Prince Amukamara showed himself to be a complete cornerback.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

So, this is a piece I feel compelled to write, purely out of a sense of integrity. I have not been Prince Amukamara’s biggest fan. When he came to the Bears, I took on the task of writing his 90-in-90 roster analysis, largely because I had been watching him since his college days (he played for Nebraska, one of the two college teams I was raised watching), and so I felt like I had a good sense of him as a player.

Here is what I said about him them:

Despite all of his promise early on, he has basically been a starting-level corner for his career. Okay, but not exceptional.

I also went on to add:

He has a nasty tendency of only acting on passes once the ball has been completed. He struggles, mightily at times, to keep a play from happening.

Later, when doing a breakdown of the Bears’ secondary, I added this nugget:

Amukamara is not a bad cornerback, but he is at best average, and he’s best as a #2

My problem all along has been that I had not seen Amukamara actually make an instinctive break on the ball. He did damage control without actually cutting off plays. On Monday night, he did exactly what I’ve been wanting to see him do for years—he made a play happen instead of waiting for it to come to him.

His signature play on Russell Wilson’s pass wasn’t just well-timed. It actually showed initiative. However, I’m not just talking about the Pick-6, as wonderful as his play was there. He also did a much better job playing aggressively throughout the game. I like this new Amukamara, and I hope he continues to flash this more capable version of himself.