Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith review vs Packers

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Roquan Smith #58 of the Chicago Bears warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on September 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 17: Roquan Smith #58 of the Chicago Bears warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on September 17, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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How did Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith look against the Green Bay Packers?

It was announced this week that Roquan Smith was an alternate to make it to the Pro Bowl this season as a rookie. Remember when Chicago Bears fans were worried about him missing time in the early stages of training camp?

Those days are long gone and those same people are now singing his praises as a key contributor of the defense. Roquan Smith played in limited spurts against the Packers in Week One. How did he look when he played them the second time around?

Roquan Smith was elite against the run in this game. He posted seven tackles, three going for stuffs with out a missed tackle. According to PFF, it was his cleanest tackling game.

Take a look at the play linked here. You can see that as the run goes outside Roquan Smith is able to hide behind the offensive lineman to keep Williams moving laterally. However, he is shifting with the line while staying clean. When he sees Williams jump into his hole he pounces and makes the play.

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His biggest issue this season has been in coverage more than it has been tackling and defending the run. In that regard he has some ups and downs. He was credited with six receptions allowed on eight targets. It was a below average coverage game compared to his season numbers.

Even on the play linked here, Jimmy Graham got separation but Aaron Rodgers was unable to connect. You can see that Graham takes a hard step up the field and pauses Smith long enough to get separation over the middle of the field.

On the play linked here, you can see the coverage of Smith lead to a sack of Aaron Rodgers. The Packers ran levels routes over the middle hoping to get Roquan Smith to bite on Jimmy Graham going to deep to open up an easy completion underneath. Smith does a great job of stepping up to Graham, but staying his zone and latching onto the underneath route as Graham got upfield. This forced Rodgers to hold onto the ball too long.

Lastly we see one of his incompletions forced. It also was the play that led to the game sealing interception. Roquan Smith is once again squaring off with Graham over the middle. Graham tries to freeze him before cutting inside but this time Smith is ready. He jumps the route, forces the ball to spiral into the air and Eddie Jackson comes down with the interception.

Smith is still growing and coming into his own but it is clear that he is taking steps forward and is becoming a complimentary piece of this offense.