The first of the two Bears that we will look at is Eddie Goldman. Goldman came to Chicago last year as a second-round draft pick (selected 39th overall). He went to college at Florida State. He was a member of that first draft by current General Manager Ryan Pace and would eventually prove that he was a very valuable pick.
Goldman had a strong training camp and held firm in the regular season. During the 2015 campaign, Goldman played in 15 games with 12 starts. He recorded 22 total tackles with 16 solo and six assisted. He tallied 4.5 sacks. His season was cut short when he suffered an injury at just about the close of his rookie year. The injury was to his ankle and he would miss the remainder of the year.
The strong showing in his rookie year made many think that he would have an even bigger season in his year two. Training camp, again, looked promising for Goldman and it appeared as if he might be able to play on a Pro Bowl level in 2016. The coaching staff was hopeful and the fans were eager for the Bears to have yet another All-Pro defensive lineman.
But, as has happened so often to the Bears roster this season, Goldman went out with an injury. Not only did he go out once, missing several games, but he went out again, missing a couple more. The absence of Goldman put a huge damper on the development of the Bears’ defensive line and defense overall.
Without Goldman in the middle being a big bodied force that can do several things Chicago’s defense has suffered. He can force teams to not take their runs up the middle. Goldman was also able to get good pass pressure straight up the middle on opposing quarterbacks. He could absorb double teams and still make plays. When he is in the lineup, he is a real difference maker.
You can see that in the games he has played, he is one of the best defenders on the team. Team’s game plan around him. He’s always in the play and gets up and down the field well.
At the time of this writing, Goldman was on the Bears’ injury report and listed as doubtful for this Sunday’s game against the Packers.
Next season will be the tell-tale one for Goldman. If he can consistently stay in the lineup, consider it a success. If he is injured more than he is out on the field, the Goldman experiment may be over. But hopefully it works out. Goldman is too talented and too valuable to not have in the lineup.
Or not on the team at all.