The Chicago Bears will need to make sure that Jimmy Graham does not get loose over the middle of the field.
It seems as though by this point in the offseason so much has happened that we have forgotten that Aaron Rodgers just added Jimmy Graham. Graham is not the same breakaway player he once was, but he is a red zone threat, and is coming off of a ten touchdown season.
Add in a healthy Aaron Rodgers, and he has the potential to do major damage over the middle of the field. With that in mind, how will the Chicago Bears be able to handle the monster tight end?
This would typically be done with safeties and linebackers. Adrian Amos is going to have a lot of his duties against Jimmy Graham. Eddie Jackson will play more of the deep field look. However, with the lack of speed from Davantae Adams and Geronimo Allison on the outside when the Packers run 11-personnel, Jackson will be staying home in the deep middle as well.
Even with multiple backs and tight ends on the field, Randall Cobb is more quick than fast at this point, and the team should have comfort in having help over the top against the speed of the Packers.
This means that Adrian Amos can take more risks in being physical with Jimmy Graham. We all know that for how dynamic he is, that when it comes to physicality, he is lacking. If Amos missed on a chance or two, he may have backup. However, if he can get into the mind of Graham early, he can separate the ball from the player later.
The linebackers can also take chances chipping him in their coverage. If Amos is going to spend time on Graham, they are going to have to handle the running backs, as well as Mercedes Lewis. This makes sense with Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski being known as more physical presences than athletic.
However, if Ty Montgomery is getting involved in the passing game, Adrian Amos would likely be his best matchup. This is where Roquan Smith could come in. In terms of athletic versatility, Smith has a level that Kwiatkoski, and maybe even Trevathan cannot attain.
Smith can follow Montgomery out of the backfield, but also follow Graham up the seam. He may not have the size to matchup with Graham but he certainly could sit in his hip pocket.