Sean Desai makes smart defensive adjustment for Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears have played sides with their cornerbacks dating back before Chuck Pagano and into the Vic Fangio days. It is easy to do with Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara, or Jaylon Johnson, but now that the defense is starting Kindle Vildor it is fair to say that the defense has a top cornerback and a second cornerback.
When the Bears faced off with the Cleveland Browns they were facing a team with a defined number one wideout in Odell Beckham. A second wideout such as Donovan Peoples-Jones strikes less fear in corners eyes. So, the Bears had two choices; they could hope that Beckham lines up on Johnson’s side, or they could have Johnson follow Beckham, which is something the team has not done for years, and Johnson has never done in his career.
According to PFF Johnson did not take a single snap as a left outside cornerback before Sunday. However, in the second quarter Kindle Vildor was called with defensive holding against Beckham, and it appeared that Sean Desai had enough. He decided to move Johnson to whatever side Beckham was on, and let Vildor defend Peoples-Jones.
On Sunday, Johnson played 20 snaps on the left side, all defending Odell Beckham. For what it is worth, Beckham started with 30 yards in the first quarter, then had 47 in the following three. However, PFF did charge Johnson with three catches for 57 yards in the game.
Still, through one quarter it was looking as if he was going to have a huge game, and he wound up with a solid to modest day.
The reality is that this is something the Chicago Bears need to do moving forward. We know that Johnson can play both sides, and we know that he is much better than Vildor. It would help Vildor, and himself to get him on the top wideout every week.