The Chicago Bears are in a state of rebuilding. That means the new regime is free to give opportunities to younger players. Anybody that can make a positive impression will get more looks moving forward. Fans are conditioned to keep their focus on offense and defense in these situations. That is only natural. Those two sides of the ball control most of the action. However, many young players often get their start in the NFL through special teams.
Surprisingly the Bears have had some success in that area. Cairo Santos remains ever-reliable as a kicker. Trenton Gill is a pleasant surprise as their rookie punter. Yet their coverage units have seen some unexpected bright spots emerge. One is undrafted free agent Jaylon Jones and the other is undrafted rookie Josh Blackwell the Bears claimed off waivers in August. The two have combined for seven special teams tackles in six games thus far.
Jaylon Jones days until Aggie football pic.twitter.com/6bw8uEJEnZ
— Sidelines – Texas A&M (@SSN_TAMU) August 17, 2022
The Chicago Bears should be happy about this.
Yes, everybody likes to talk about the superstar on a team. However, depth is just as vital to success in the NFL. It is always the unheralded names on special teams that can determine the outcome of a game, for better or worse. Credit must go to GM Ryan Poles for pinpointing Jones and Blackwell as two promising contributors in the third phase. Special teams coordinator Richard Hightower also deserves a nod of approval for preparing them so well.
If this trend holds, the Chicago Bears have two possible stalwarts for their special teams moving forward. Both of them were acquired for pennies. That is how good teams are supposed to do it. Maybe one of them even develops into a possible contributor on defense. That would be a bonus. Either way, this proves that the Bears are having success developing several young guys. There’s a clear buy-in. As more new faces arrive, that should expand next year.
shut up Thomas
Yes, it’s great to have a few gems on special teams. But the team should be loaded with up and coming players on special teams and back ups. Good teams always have those types of players. The problem is for the Bears we can count them on one hand.
Yeah they really might be the tipping point between a bad and good team. 😆
2 real good pick ups. Undrafted guys who can come in and contribute right away! That’s a win. This is how good teams do it.
Who else but Erik Lambert would heap this much praise on Ryan Poles for drafting punter, Trenton Gill and adding special team UDFAs, Jaylon Jones and Josh Blackwell; while overlooking the questionable third round draft selection of former returner specialist, Velus Jones Jr?