Chicago Bears: 5 Position groups that improved this offseason

Chicago Bears - Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith
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2. Chicago Bears Position Group: Inside Linebacker

Sticking with a 3-4 scheme under new defensive coordinator Sean Desai, the Bears upgraded on rotational pieces at both linebacker spots.

After losing Nick Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre Louis to free agency following the 2019 season, the Chicago Bears lacked depth at inside linebacker in 2020. After losing Roquan Smith to an elbow injury in Week 17 against Green Bay, the Bears were forced to start Manti Te’o against the Saints in the wild card game at The Superdome. Realizing in the playoff game that Te’o wasn’t gonna be their guy, adding a backup ILB with more experience was a priority for Pace entering 2021.

Signing former Bears and Lions linebacker Christian “Cheese” Jones to a one-year deal, Ryan Pace added an experienced backup for Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith. A full-time starter during 2018-2020 in Detroit, Jones started 42 of his final 45 games.

During his 2017 season with the Chicago Bears, Jones had a career-high 90 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, and a forced fumble. Last season for the Lions, Jones had 57 tackles and two tackles-for-loss. Jones is an experienced veteran who has only missed four games due to injury in his seven-year career. If something happens to Smith or Trevathan this season, Chicago Bears fans can rest assured knowing it won’t be Manti Te’o who gets the starting reps at inside linebacker.