Chicago Bears OLB David Bass has Huge Upside


Between former defensive ends like Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young making the transition, and free agent additions like Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho with valuable experience, the Chicago Bears have a lot of options at the outside linebacker position. In new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defense, the Bears outside linebackers are primarily going to be asked to rush the passer in space.

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With all of the players mentioned above bringing experience and great skill-sets to the fold, outside linebacker is undoubtedly the deepest position on the Bears’ defense. That being said, it may be a former seventh round pick who ends up making the biggest impact for the Bears at the position.

David Bass has struggled along as an end of the roster player since the Oakland Raiders drafted him in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Bass was cut by the Raiders after training camp his rookie year, and the Bears pounced on the opportunity and signed Bass as a free agent.

While playing time has been tough to come by, Bass has shown some great upside when given an opportunity the past two years. The Bears got Bass involved in the defensive line rotation late last season, and he showed the ability to get consistent pressure on the quarterback. In fact, Bass recorded his first career sack in Week 12 last season, before finishing up with sacks in back-to-back games to end the year.

Whenever he was given an opportunity, Bass seemed to step up and shine. This off season has been no different as Bass thoroughly impressed last week at the Bears’ mandatory minicamp practices.

Bass looked great last week, as he was arguably the most naturally gifted pass rusher on the Bears’ roster. He looked better than anyone at attacking on the outside by using his impressive combination of speed and quickness.

Bass has never played in a 3-4 defense before, but it seems to be a scheme that will play to his strengths. He was always a bit undersized on the defensive line (currently listed at 6-foot-4, 256 pounds), with his speed and athleticism being his biggest strengths. Standing up in a 3-4, Bass will now be allowed to use his athleticism in space, which could be very dangerous for opposing quarterbacks.

I will admit that he is far from a sure-thing, but Bass just seems ready to break-out. Playing time may be tough to come by, but Bass has the raw talent to make a difference. If he continues to impress, Fangio and the Bears will find a way to get him on the field on a consistent basis. The skills are there, it is just time for him to prove it. For Bass in Fangio’s defense, the sky is the limit.

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