Chicago Bears' Most Overlooked Offseason Signing May Surprise You

By Mike Cuddy
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears have brought in plenty of bodies on the defensive side of the ball to help them contend for a division title this season, but their most important acquisition may not have been a player. In early February the team announced that they were bringing in martial arts coach Joe Kim to help the position players develop hand techniques and skills to help enable them to shed blockers more easily.

The Bears have become the ninth NFL team to hire Kim to teach their players his techniques and the first since the Kansas City Chiefs had Kim on staff from 2010 to 2012. Current Bears general manager Phil Emery worked as the director of college scouting for the Chiefs during that span which gave him a good view of Kim’s work. Kim has been described as a pass rush specialist from his past employment stints, and that’s exactly why Emery and the Bears have brought him in.

In 2013, the Bears finished tied for last in the league with only 31 sacks, down from the 41 that they tallied just one year earlier. Now heading into this season with a recently revamped defensive line, the Bears are hoping that bringing in Kim will help this defense preform at their best. With the signings of defensive ends Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, Kim’s hiring may well go overlooked. Though if the defensive pass rush preforms well this season, a case should be made for Kim being the biggest addition of the offseason.

The Bears’ new defensive weapons have shown they can be great pass rushers on their own with their previous teams, and if they can replicate that success with the Bears some credit deserves to go Kim’s way. By teaching these good players techniques that are designed to keep opponents from getting their hands on them, Kim is showing them a new way to utilize their talents. In any case, combining martial arts with Jared Allen’s calf roping skills should result in quite a show.

Mike Cuddy is a Chicago Bears writer for Follow him on Twitter @MikeCuddy, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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