The Chicago Bears suffered another heartbreaking loss on Sunday in Detroit. They had the game won with four minutes left, up 26-14. Then they completely fell apart, as has become routine under this coaching staff. However, there was an undercurrent of optimism despite the defeat. It came from how well many of the roster’s young players performed. Tyrique Steven forced two turnovers. Darnell Wright held Aidan Hutchinson in check for most of the afternoon. Braxton Jones was even better on the left side. Roschon Johnson averaged 5.0 yards per carry. Yet the biggest development was Gervon Dexter.
Keep this in mind. The Detroit Lions have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. That includes Pro Bowl center Frank Ragnow and Pro Bowl guard Jonah Jackson. That didn’t seem to matter as Dexter gave them problems with four pressures on Jared Goff. It includes a beating Pro Bowl tackle Penei Sewell for a big hit on the quarterback. He also tipped a pass that led to an interception by Tremain Edmunds. It was the strongest performance of the season for Dexter, and he did it against some of the NFL’s best.
Gervon Dexter is becoming exactly what the Bears envisioned.
He still has work to do. The pad level remains high too often, and he hasn’t mastered full use of his hands and long arms. Still, he’s getting better. If Pro Bowlers are having difficulty dealing with him already, imagine what will happen once the experience catches up to the talent. This young man is capable of dominating. His physical capabilities always hinted at that. The mix of power and athleticism he possesses is rare. The Bears gambled that he could morph into something special with proper coaching and patience.
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This is why betting on physical traits isn’t a bad idea, provided you’re sure the player has the work ethic necessary to reach their potential. Nobody expected Gervon Dexter to be this far along so fast. His improvement since the beginning of October has been rapid. It feels like only a matter of time before he supplants Justin Jones in that three-technique starting spot. Either that, or he will become a force at nose tackle while the Bears try to find somebody else at three-tech. Whatever direction they go, it’s evident they have another dawg up front.