Chicago Bears Make Splash in Signing Home Town Kid

By Ryan Heckman
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears continue to make moves on defense in effort to move past their disastrous breakup with middle linebacker Brian Urlacher last week. Saturday, the Bears brought in former Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts safety Tom Zbikowski.

Most of  you reading this may ask, “Who on earth is this guy?” I don’t blame you — it is a justified response for most fans.

Zbikowski, a five-year veteran and former Notre Dame prospect, is a player who has spent his entire career under the radar. Sometimes, that’s the best type of signing to make if you’re a team that depends on an elite defense.

This is a guy who will give you every bit of effort he has on every single play. He’s a versatile player, appearing in 64 games in his career at safety but also handling return duties last year in Indianapolis. Zbikowski has compiled 126 combined tackles with two forced fumbles and three interceptions.

Phil Emery made a nice selection in signing Zbikowski, as I could see him coming in right away and competing with current safeties Major Wright and Chris Conte for a starting spot. He may not necessarily win that starting position, but challenging the two starters in camp and throughout the season will only make them all better players collectively.

Playing his first four seasons in Baltimore sets Zbikowski up for a similar environment in Chicago, where defense is the No. 1 priority of the franchise. As a fan, you should be eager to see what new defensive coordinator Mel Tucker does with him.

The way I see it, it’s only a matter of time before Zbikowski gets his opportunity to take the ball away and carry it into the end zone wearing blue and orange.

Ryan Heckman is a Minnesota Timberwolves writer and NFL contributor for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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