Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Kyler Gordon Reveals Bears’ Plans For Him May Not Be What We Thought


When the Chicago Bears drafted Kyler Gordon 39th overall, the assumptions were made immediately. He would become one of their two outside cornerbacks opposite Jaylon Johnson. This would allow them to become the next Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, who had so much success a decade ago. Teams that have one good outside corner rarely thrive. It almost always takes two.

Except those thoughts may have been premature. Through the first two training camp practices, Bears coaches haven’t played Gordon exclusively on the outside. Far from it. They’ve been moving him into the slot position quite often. Based on the smile the rookie gave reporters when asked about it, that offers an idea that he saw this coming and was actually hoping for it. Gordon loves nickel corner, having played it a ton in college.

“You just get to be more like the run game, just a different job. I feel like me at nickel, I’m just a twitchy dude, so I just like to react a bunch. I just enjoy it and (am) able to be in the run fit, too. Just a lot of different things I can do there and to really show all of my abilities. I enjoy nickel.”

“It’s definitely like the quarterback of the defense. You’ve got to know the calls, be able to communicate, be loud, efficient, fast and smart and be able to react fast.”

Kyler Gordon at nickel makes sense in context.

Matt Eberflus stated when he first arrived as Bears head coach that his defense requires good players at three key positions to function at a high level. One was the three-technique defensive tackle, the designated interior pass rusher. Think Warren Sapp and Tommie Harris. Next was the weakside outside linebacker. Think Derrick Brooks and Lance Briggs. Finally is the nickel or slot cornerback. Think Ronde Barber, or more recently, Kenny Moore.

Few things turned the NFL on its head over the past 20 years than the rise of slot wide receivers. Wes Welker led the way in New England, and now guys like Cooper Kupp are ripping up the league. Teams that have good-to-great players at nickel corner are often the ones having consistent success on defense. It isn’t a coincidence that the Cincinnati Bengals (Mike Hinton) and Los Angeles Rams (Troy Hill) both had excellent nickel cornerbacks.

If that is what the Bears envision for Kyler Gordon in the future, it proves Eberflus was always thinking long-term when they drafted him.


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Jul 29, 2022 10:22 am

Gonna be a rough year for the D they dont have a good 3tech a rookie nickel and smith who never played wlb.

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