Defense has been the Chicago Bears calling card through three games this season. The defensive line in particular has been dominant, leading the NFL in sacks with 14. The linebackers even with the heart and soul of that unit Brian Urlacher not quite 100 percent has been far from a liability.
The secondary coming into the season was looked at to be the weakest link. So far they have been on par with the D-Line and LB Units. The two main players that have made the secondary a respectable unit are Tim Jennings and Major Wright.
Both players struggled in their 2011 campaign. Jennings was benched in the second to last game before being inserted back in the line-up in the last game of the season.
Wright was on the verge of being benched because of inconsistent play at the strong safety position. It didn’t go unnoticed by general manager Phil Emery, who drafted safety Brandon Hardin this past off-season to put pressure on Wright.
Jennings has looked like the most improved player on the entire team. He leads the league in interceptions with four and we are only three games into the season.
The aspect of Jennings game that has improved the most is his recognition of how routes are being developed. One example of this is last week’s game against the St. Louis Rams, where Jennings read the opposing receiver’s hips and anticipated the slant route.
Jennings got inside position on the WR and was able to deflect the ball, which landed into Wright’s arms for an INT. Jennings has made a number of plays like this so far this season. He’s quickly developing into a ball-hawk CB.
Wright on the other hand has looked like a more discipline player. You can tell that he’s more comfortable in the system compared to his first two years in the league.
The Bears are sixth in the league in total and rushing yards allowed, partly because Wright is playing with better technique and control to where he’s not putting his teammates in bad situations.
The Bears are getting significant contributions from Jennings and Wright that they hope will carry on throughout the season.