Chicago Bears must contain Cameron Jordan

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints during the NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints at Wembley Stadium on October 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints during the NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and the New Orleans Saints at Wembley Stadium on October 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images) /

Cameron Jordan may be set for a big game against the Chicago Bears

Lost in the plethora of storylines across the league, the New Orleans Saints defense actually being good has to be one of the most surprising. Everyone sort of just anticipates that it will fall off, but if you look at the names on paper, it is a strong unit. It may not be a top ten unit, but it is growing into a formidable enough group that the Saints can still win games with their offense.

A lot of the groups success has to do with Cameron Jordan. What makes him stand out is that he is a defensive lineman that can be used as a swiss army knife. It is not often you get the versatility you get with Jordan, he is a total package.


This is where it starts. Cameron Jordan is a master with his hands. What you notice when watching him is that he is always keeping his hands high. It is the first thing he does out of his stance. He wins a lot with strength, and using his hands to get under the player’s shoulder pads and inside their arms, he is able to bench press them and create the separation needed to make plays in the backfield. Below, he gets his hand leverage on the right tackle, he stands him up, and he pushed him aside to make a tackle for no gain.

This time it is the left tackle, but it is the same hand placement. He gets the push that gives him enough time to breeze into the backfield and make a stop for a one-yard loss.


Below, the combination of Jordan’s hand usage and body strength is on maximum display. This should be getting more buzz for the play of the year at this point.

The first thing to notice is the hands. He is right there under the shoulder pads to the point where it does become a bench press of a human being whose momentum is completely stopped. Add in that momentum gained by Jordan off of the snap, and Matthew Stafford goes flying backward despite never being touched by a  defender.


This is not the only skill for Jordan. However, it is the base of his success. Jordan uses the separation he gains by pushing offensive lineman away to not only penetrate upfield but make other plays in the passing game. He has deflected three passes this year at the line of scrimmage and has turned one into an interception for a touchdown. This is because he has enough space to jump and raise his arms to impact the play.

What makes all of this even tougher is that he has become a threat as a player in space off of the ball as well. Below, Jordan is in zone and finds himself closer to the sideline than the hash marks to defend a tight end. He recognizes the crossing route and passes the tight end off. Sam Bradford did not think Jordan would have that savvy. He tests the big mauler, who stands in and tips the pass away, almost giving himself a second interception.

Below, Jordan drops back into zone against Golden Tate. He shows his ability to read the play again, and while Tate makes the catch, he is held to zero yards after the catch. Tate led the league in percentage of yards after the catch last season. To have the foot quickness to change direction and keep up and track down Golden Tate in the open field is impressive, to say the least.

What can Bears do?

So how do you contain a 287-pound star with great technique, the foot quickness to chase down skill players and the strength to push offensive tackles into their quarterbacks?

The versatility to Jordan does not end in skill set, either. He can line up at virtually every spot on the defensive line and already has sacks off of a left tackle, right guard and right tackle this year.

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The Bears will have to slide protections his way. Jordan will typically line up against right tackle Bobby Massie. That is his primary slot on the line, and Massie is the weakest link on the Bears offensive line. Even when the Saints slide Jordan inside for passing downs, they will likely try to stunt and matchup Jordan up with Massie rather than line him up against the talented Kyle Long.

The Bears are going to have to slide protections, and even involve their guards on chip blocks. Jordan and second-year performer Sheldon Rankins are the two players that have to be watched for the Saints. The Bears are going to have to gamble, and put some of their other spots at risk helping out and zoning in on those two. The tight ends and the progression of Adam Shaheen as a blocker will have to be on display in this game. Cameron Jordan can make impacts that can completely turn games around. Expect him to be the primary concern for the offense on Sunday.