A lot of talk has been going on about the Chicago Bears defense. As an avid Bears fan, my nails have been chewed to bone worrying about this season. The Bears haven’t seen a Super Bowl appearance in six years, and Chicago fans everywhere are getting antsy. The first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers is coming up on Aug. 8. The question about the defensive unit still remains: Who’s going to be where and who will be the new front seven?
Second round pick Jon Bostic and fourth round pick Khaseem Greene are top candidates when it comes to fighting for the starting linebacker position. Bostic would be some people’s obvious choice; at 6-foot-1 and 246 pounds he’s a big dude that can give big hits. At Florida he had 68 tackles his senior year alone and had six solo stops in the 2013 Sugar Bowl against Louisville. Also, he has the speed to be able to stop his target and at times get an interception.
Here’s my problem. Linebackers are supposed to make sure that the offense gets nowhere, and especially that the running back gets tackled to the turf and stays there. Also in this level of play, especially in the current defensive state of the Bears, a linebacker needs to be versatile. Bostic was a middle linebacker, which is good for his size. However, he would be useless at the strong or weak side as linebacker. Bostic runs out of gas after one big stop. I’m not confident that he has what it takes to keep the defense strong.
This is where Greene comes in. This guy knows how to keep someone from entering the end zone. In his senior year, he went four games going into double digit stops and had 70 solos, not in just one year. He led the Big East in turnovers which is a mantra of the Bears defense. I choose Greene over Bostic because Greene can keep going. He has the intensity to make great plays and to keep making them. He should have been the second round pick, and the Bears are lucky to have picked him up in the fourth. He will also fit in with the veteran players in the defensive unit and fill the void at linebacker. The Bears should take this opportunity to put Greene in while he’s a rookie, because once he hits his full potential, he’ll be unstoppable and extremely desirable to other teams.