Chicago Bears Week 2: Rookie Report
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Emery must have been feeling pretty good at the conclusion on Sunday night’s 28-20 Bears win over the 49ers after a few of the rookies he selected in this years NFL draft played key roles in the Bears upset victory. I broke down this week’s rookie contributions below:
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Week 2 Rookie Report
CB Kyle Fuller – Deserves the defensive game ball after two 2nd half interceptions. Both picks put the Bears in good position to score and were crucial in the Bears come back victory. When Fuller took over for Tillman, Kaepernick made a point to pick on him right away. The first time resulted in a 21-yard play to Stevie Johnson, but the next two were intercepted. I don’t think Geno Smith will be picking on Fuller next week. Fuller will be the starting corner from now on and this was a huge confidence booster for the rookie. Fuller also tied Ryan Mundy for the team lead in tackles Sunday with 7.
G Michael Ola – After an excellent debut in week 1, Ola struggled a bit in week 2. He gave up the only sack on the day and didn’t get much movement in the run game. In his defense, Ola gave up the sack to Justin Smith who is one of the best 3-4 DEs in the NFL and the Bears didn’t run the ball enough for any of the lineman to establish a rhythm. Considering the circumstances (great d-line, national tv, 75% passes) Ola was alright, he just set the bar high with his week 1 performance so it was a bit of a let down. Ola has another daunting task in week 3 against the Jets D-line which is one of the best in football.
DT Will Sutton – Starting 3-tech DT Jeremiah Ratliff left the game with an injury early in the 2nd half and Sutton took over the rest of the way. He finished with 35 snaps, 2 QB hurries, 1 nice stop near the line of scrimmage on a Carlos Hyde run and some good penetration on a couple of pass plays. That’s two games in a row now that Sutton has shown flashes of pass rush ability, but more importantly he didn’t look overmatched in either game despite playing against two of the better offensive lines in the league. I’m not sure if Ratliff will be ready to play in week 3, but either way the Bears won’t lose much if Sutton is out there and I am excited to see what he can do. It’s just a matter of time till the QB pressures turn into QB sacks.
DT Ego Ferguson – Got double the snaps (22) compared to week 1 and for the 2nd week in a row didn’t embarrass himself. Ferguson had a penalty (declined) and only made 1 tackle, but he was part of the DT rotation that held the Niners to just 40 yards rushing between the tackles which was a huge improvement from week 1. He didn’t get any penetration on pass plays, but that’s not his job; Ferguson was drafted to stop the run and his run stopping grade (.3) was significantly better than the guy he backs up, Stephen Paea (-2). Paea has been a liability vs the run in the first two weeks and Ferguson has held his own. It will be interesting to see who gets more snaps in week 3.