Sunday, August 14, 2022

Want Proof Jaquan Brisker Was Born To Be A Bear? Here You Go

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The Chicago Bears had plenty of reasons they liked Jaquan Brisker going into the 2022 draft. He was a great athlete, instinctive, versatile, and highly intelligent. Offenses couldn’t avoid him. Yet his physicality was a big part of why GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus loved him. Both said they wanted more violence on their roster. Brisker showcased tons of that during his time at Penn State. It didn’t matter if it was against a wide receiver or offensive linemen. He threw his body around with outright malice when times called for it.



That profile aligns with great Bears safeties of the past, including Mike Brown, Gary Fencik, and Richie Petitbon. Making big plays is important, but it is also about playing with an edge. It is about making the other team fear your presence physically. Certain people aren’t born with a natural affinity for violence. Brisker is not one of them. That much was evident even before he started high school, as Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic found out.

When Terry Smith was the head coach at Gateway High School outside Pittsburgh, he had to remove Brisker from the drills.

Brisker wasn’t on the team. He was the ball boy, watching his older brothers, Tale’ and Shawn, but he wanted to join.

He’s in there trying to hit guys — guys had pads on, and he didn’t have pads on, so we’ve got to throw him out the drills,” Smith said. “But he just loved it. He was always around. We set up bag drills and he’s doing the bag drills with us. He was just a sponge.”

Jaquan Brisker has no fear, and that is vital to his task.

The biggest reason many safeties can’t establish themselves as a feared presence is they’re not willing to apply full force on their tackles. Some players have a natural self-preservation instinct. Brisker turned that switch off long ago. Either that, or he was never born with it. The guy loves to hit. Even more importantly, he understands he can’t do it all the time. The rules of today’s football make that dangerous due to penalties.

There are times and places when a good hit is warranted. Jaquan Brisker has mastered the art of knowing when those times are. Receiver going across the middle or a quarterback scrambling near the sideline? Nope. A running back going for a lane or a bubble screen? Yep. That is what makes the 2nd round pick so enticing. He understands the game from the brain’s and brawn’s points of view. Such players are rare.

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Bill Kowalski
Bill Kowalski
Jul 2, 2022 4:39 pm

Fencik and Brown were tough, big hitters…but Petitbon, uh no, he was more of a free safety like Eddie Jackson, more ballhawk than big hitter.

Maybe you meant to say Doug Plank – he was the biggest hitter of all of them.

Kenny
Kenny
Jul 1, 2022 11:37 am

Serious question: I like the Gordon theory from Gator Joe, and it does kind of make sense, But is it really impossible that Kyler Gordon may have shown enough early to qualify as a “no brainer” decision, and they had other guys they needed to see more from to make decisions about them?
Do you really want to risk having an over-eager UDFA roll up on your top draft pick? We had enough of those to forfeit an OTA, and did well to keep the OTA injury count low.

Kenny
Kenny
Jul 1, 2022 11:01 am

Music to my ears!

Gator Joe
Gator Joe
Jul 1, 2022 10:03 am

Gordon probably had a hammy or leg cramps and they shut him down. Happens a lot with guys from cool climate areas like Washington when they run hard in the summer heat. They’ll keep an eye on him in camp but I expect he’ll be a full go.

Russ
Russ
Jul 1, 2022 9:10 am

love this. BEAR down!!
can we get an update on Kyler Gordon? I hope it’s not another Teven Jenkins type thing. ???

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