BOURBONNAIS — Ryan Pace was busy this offseason boosting the Bears. At least he hopes the additions he’s made will end up classified as upgrades.
Perhaps nowhere — other than the quarterback position, of course — did the Bears receive a bigger makeover than the secondary, a response to what has seemed like a few years’ worth of problems.
Last season, it was the team’s jaw-dropping lack of interceptions, only eight on the campaign, a number better than just one other NFL team (Jacksonville Jaguars) and one which came as a shock to those who remember the turnover-heavy heyday of Lovie Smith’s old defenses. It was a big enough problem to ignore the fact that the pass-defense numbers weren’t all bad: The Bears ranked seventh in the NFL with just 225 passing yards allowed per game.
To rectify that situation, there are three new starters in that secondary, all bringing with them some veteran experience. Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper are the new projected starters at cornerback, and it’s hoped that newly acquired safety Quintin Demps will anchor the unit after he came away with six interceptions last season with the Houston Texans.
The new-starter count could even reach four if someone beats out Adrian Amos for the starting spot at safety next to Demps. Eddie Jackson, a fourth-round draft pick out of Alabama, is one of a few candidates, along with Amos, who started 14 games last season. Deon Bush (six starts in 2016) and Harold Jones-Quartey (12 starts) are in the mix, too.
But will it all pay off? Will all those offseason investments, be they in the form of dollars or draft choices, do what…
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