The Chicago Bears were their own worst enemy during the 2016 season.
Game after game, the performance on the field looked shaky, inconsistent and just downright dysfunctional. The team not only had a hard time finding the end-zone, but keeping their opponent out of it. For a franchise who prides themselves in a hard-hitting defense, the Bears recent performance have left many fan’s feeling helpless.
One major area where the Bears have been on the search for improvement has been in their secondary. Last season the team struggled to force turnovers, and only collected a total of eight interceptions, tying them for the 29th worst spot in the league.
If the Bears are looking to have a more successful 2017 season, than they must see a high-level of production out of their newer secondary units. After a busy offseason, let’s take a closer look at these fresh faces.
New to the Bears this season on a three-year contract, Marcus Cooper is a great free agent signing that should bring a reassuring amount of experience to the team’s Cornerback position. Cooper has been in the league since 2013 and has played with both the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals, two team’s that do not take their defensive play lightly.
During last season, the 27-year-old lead the Arizona Cardinals in interceptions with four on the year. Two of those four interception both came in the same game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of which he even returned for a 60 yard touchdown.
Cooper is a talented Cornerback who has the opportunity to be the diamond in a rough Chicago Bears defense. Not to mention, he has already demonstrated his commitment to the Windy City of Chicago through an open letter he shared on his twitter account in mid-March.
While Chicago is currently unfamiliar with Cooper’s play, if it’s up to him, it won’t be long before the entire city knows his name.
Quintin Demps is no stranger to top-notch defense. The Bears offseason addition of Demps demonstrates the team’s sure-fire focus on fixing their secondary problems immediately. Last season was one of the best in Demps’ career. The former Texan recorded 55 tackles, nine deflections and six interceptions.
Throughout his time in the NFL, Demps has understood how to force turnovers. Since the 2013 season, he has picked off the ball 15 times and has deflected it 31 times. In addition, not only are the Bears getting a proven and effective safety, but the team is getting a veteran talent than can help mentor their younger players.
In the end, the Bears need a safety that understands how to get his hands on the football, and the team has found that with their addition of Quintin Demps.
After a rather disappointing season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, a change of scenery might do Prince Amukamara some good. Heading into his seventh season, Amukamara has joined the Chicago Bears on a one-year deal and is out to prove he is worth more playing time.
In the past, Amukamara has been a slightly above-average option at the position. He had a long stint with the New York Giants from the 2011-2015 season and is now trying to find his next home. Still young and more than capable of keeping up with quality receivers, Amukamara could be a nice addition to the Bears secondary. However, only on a one-year deal, this upcoming season is all about proving his worth.
Amukamara is going to have plenty of chances this season to show his potential, and the Bears can only hope he takes advantage of those opportunities.
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