Will this become issue for Chicago Bears defense?

Chicago Bears (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Chicago Bears’ top three defensive ends are locked into their roles. Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson, and Al-Quadin Muhammad will struggle to lose playing time to rookie Dominique Robinson and Ryan Pace leftover Jeremiah Attaochu. They will mix and match these three, and likely get Robinson into the mix as well as their top four edge-rushing threats.

While the Bears will continue to build on their roster, this is probably going to be the group that they go into the season with. If that is the case, the team is going to have to work hard on their run defense.

Last season was the best season that Robert Quinn had as a run defender in over five years. When the Chicago Bears signed him, the biggest glaring flag in his game was that he was such a negative in-run defense. During his first season in Chicago, they pulled him off of the field.

Last season they asked him to step up and play the run more and he did. His 310 run defense snaps are his most since 2013. His run stop numbers were the best since 2014.

Still, that was a 5.3% run stop rate, which ranked him 75th out of 116 qualified defenders. This is arguably good for him, though.

If he can give you this with his pass rush you will take it, but there has to be an understanding that you will have to compensate for his run defense. The issue right now is that Gipson and Muhammad have not shown that on paper.

Trevis Gipson ranks 92nd in run stop rate, with a 4.8% rating. To be fair to Gipson, he will be In a different role. As a rookie, he was a player who fell to day-three because he was a 3-4 lineman who moved to a 4-3 edge rusher. The Bear drafted him and he moved back to 3-4, but this time still as an edge rusher. You could argue that this scheme will actually help Gipson, but early into his NFL career, he has not been a reliable run defender.

The biggest issue is that Al-Quadin Muhammad ranked 110th, at a 4.1% rate. It hurts that he is the worst of the group for a few reasons, but mainly because he is not changing schemes, unlike the other two.

For Quinn, you know this is his weakness, and he was always miscast in a 3-4 scheme, even though he did not play off of the ball much. Gipson was a 4-3 end in college and will be more natural in this new defense. They both could improve, especially Gipson. At the least, Quinn may not drop off, with expectations not being as high for him anyways.

Still, if Muhammad is the worst of the three, they are straight up going to be bad at run defense on the outside edge. Dominque Robinson fell so far in the draft because he was a wide receiver not long ago. He can burst, bend, and be athletic, but they did not draft him to stop the run.

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The Chicago Bears interior and linebackers are going to be called on in a big way. It will be interesting to see if teams start to attack the Bears on the outside edges as they slowly learn that this could be a weak area on the roster.