When you are coming off a season when you quite literally had the worst record in the NFL, you certainly can’t fix everything in one offseason, but Ryan Poles has done a remarkable job improving several areas of the Chicago Bears’ roster.
The most remarkable turnaround should be in the back seven. Last year, it certainly didn’t help that there were some injuries to the secondary, especially with Eddie Jackson, but the Bears defense gave up plenty of big plays and quarterbacks mostly had their way in Chicago passing the football.
The defense still needs to improve the pass rush, and while that probably won’t see huge gains in 2023, the back seven of the defense has improved to the point that it’s safe to say that, if it remains relatively healthy, could be in the top half of the league, perhaps even higher. That’s a remarkable turnaround.
Whether the Bears are in a base defense with Jack Sanborn or a nickel defense with Kyler Gordon, the Bears have an excellent safety tandem with Jackson and Jaquan Brisker and with the addition of Tyrique Stevenson, they’ll have three legit corners that are all capable starters led by, of course, Jaylon Johnson. With the additions of Tremaine Edmunds and TJ Edwards to the linebackers, this is going to be a unit that will absolutely be pretty darn sticky in coverage, certainly not afraid to hit people and should be pretty solid against the run as well.
Again, the back seven will run into trouble at times because the front four still needs work, but this is a rebuild that’s coming together much quicker than Ryan Pace’s (it helps when you have the quarterback) and if Poles continues to put key pieces in the right places, this team should be a legitimate contender by 2024.