It is no secret that the Chicago Bears need to have a much improved defense this upcoming season. They’ve improved their defensive line with additions like Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston, they’ve re-signed Pro Bowl cornerbacks Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman and the linebacking corps should be improved with a healthy Lance Briggs. This leaves one position that made Bears fans cringe last year, and that is safety.
GM Phil Emery stockpiled some safeties in free agency and the draft. M.D. Jennings and Ryan Mundy were signed early in free agency, Brock Vereen was drafted out of Minnesota and veteran Adrian Wilson was recently brought in to join the team in camp. The Bears are also bringing back Craig Steltz and much-maligned Chris Conte.
This underwhelming surplus of safeties leaves a lot to be desired for Bears fans and front office alike.
Enter rookie Marcus Trice out of North Texas.
The 2014 All-Conference USA safety is undersized at 5-foot-8, but he is stocky at 193 pounds and is an aggressive tackler, something Chicago lacked last season. He also forced three fumbles last season with a Tillman-esque ball punch. He would be short for a NFL safety, but his skill set could give him a chance as an inside cornerback.
Trice was also a star on special teams in college, an area the Bears are looking to improve in as well. He was a reckless tackler on coverage teams and had three blocked kicks last season.
Though I doubt he sees any time at safety for the Bears this season, his aggressiveness could fit in perfectly with their revamped special teams. You may not have heard of Trice before, but take note, because he may make some big plays for the Bears this season.
Andrew Pappas is a Chicago Bears writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewPappas24.