Grading the Chicago Bears...Secondary

By Joshua Casey

In 2009, the Chicago Bears secondary was terrible. Al Alalava and Kevin Payne were your starting safeties and along with Danieal Manning. It was painful to watch.

What a difference a year makes?!? The Chicago Bears traded for their old friend Chris Harris and moved Manning in as the starting strong safety. DJ Moore had a great year as the nickel safety. Rookie Major Wright proved to be a big hitter when he could stay healthy. Craig Steltz exploded out of camp as a potential starter but disappeared thanks to an injury during the preseason.

Charles Tillman is a favorite target of fans. He can be terrible against the slant pattern. However, he’s an excellent tackler and causes many fumbles. He’s a poor man’s Charles Woodson. Zachary Bowman was productive last season and struggled this year. He was replaced by one of the more underrated Bears this season in Tim Jennings. Josh Bullocks and Corey Graham are also cornerbacks, but their contributions come on special teams where Graham is a stud.

Obviously things were going right from a coaching standpoint. Jon Hoke was interviewed by the Philadelphia Eagles for their vacant defensive coordinator position. He didn’t get the job but it’s a nice pat-on-the-back for his career.

Overall, I give this unit a B+. While I think Harris was overrated and missed many tackles, he did get interceptions. Manning had a strong season. The cornerbacks played well and the coaches pulled the plug on Bowman quickly. Moore had a great season for a nickelback.

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