There is a lot to be excited about when you look at the 2017 Chicago Bears defense. The linebacking core is criminally underrated, the defensive backfield is full of young players with great potential, but there is a problem with the defensive line.
The problem isn’t defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and absolutely not defensive end Akiem Hicks, rather who is going to play opposite of him. The right end position was a weak spot in 2016. Mitch Unrein and Cornelius Washington saw plenty of action and played as expected, subpar. However, the biggest disappointment was rookie Jonathan Bullard.
Bullard was the Bears third-round pick in 2016 and showed a lot of promise in college. During his time at Florida he was quick off the ball, he was a smart player that seemed to know where the ball was going. Those traits seemed to disappear at the NFL level. Bullard had moments where he flashed his potential, but he seemed slow off the ball and got bullied at the line of scrimmage.
The young defensive ends performance was so poor he was a healthy scratch for the last two games of the season. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was straightforward when talking about Bullard, but thinks he may turn the corner.
“I don’t think he was quite ready for that last year, both physically or mentally,” Fangio told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Emotionally, he’s more ready. We’re hopeful that he does well.”
During the offseason Bullard made some changes to his routine. He took the Kevin White approach by…
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