Chicago Bears should continue starting CreVon LeBlanc

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 12: Akiem Hicks
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 12: Akiem Hicks /

Even if Bryce Callahan is back and healthy, the Chicago Bears should be looking at CreVon LeBlanc in the slot until he shows reasons otherwise.

Bryce Callahan and CreVon LeBlanc have been battling for time in the slot all season. First, it was Callahan who won the job out of camp. He had played well, including a strip sack of Ben Roethlisberger in the Chicago Bears upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, a knee injury has left Callahan on the sideline for the last four games. Cre’Von LeBlanc has stepped in for Callahan and has played well in the meantime. While an injury should never be a detriment to the benching of a player, the play of LeBlanc right now is too strong to bench.


Both Callahan and LeBlanc can play near the line of scrimmage. LeBlanc has a sack as well, and has done a strong job timing when to rush off of the edge, and getting pressure on quarterbacks. He has also played well sticking his head in against the run.

However, the big difference where LeBlanc has shined has been in coverage. LeBlanc has played well in zone and in one-on-one situations. Against the Eagles, he was one of the lone bright spots on defense.

Below, LeBlanc is sitting in zone as a defender of the bottom half of the field. He does a good job passing off the route, recognizing his man and closing in for a strong tackle, limiting Mack Hollins to no yards after the catch.

Later, LeBlanc finds himself in man, matched up one-on-one with Alshon Jeffrey. Jeffrey, the big body receiver gets LeBlanc to take a step outside, creating just enough space to the inside for Carson Wentz to try the matchup. However, LeBlanc does an excellent job of recovering and comes in from behind to break up the pass.

LeBlanc stops the physicality of Alshon Jeffrey and also the speed of Nelson Agholor. The Eagles run a drag to their primary slot receiver, and LeBlanc is on

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the speedy former first-round pick. The pass is slightly behind Agholor, but that does not take away from the fact that LeBlanc is on him step for step over the middle to break the pass away.

LeBlanc has had some downs, but there has always been potential there with him. For being inspired, and being one of the few who did show up for this game, it should warrant starter status until he shows otherwise, not until Bryce Callahan returns from injury. We will see if the Bears think that LeBlanc has done enough to warrant starter status soon enough.