3 things to know about Chicago Bears new LB A.J. Klein
1. A.J. Klein brings special teams ability to Chicago Bears
The real reason why the Chicago Bears wanted A.J. Klein is probably special teams. Roquan Smith played 100% of the snaps. Jack Sanborn was one of the Chicago Bears best special teams assets.
No way Sanborn plays special teams if he plays 100% of the defensive snaps. They needed depth here. A.J. Klein has over 1,800 special teams snaps. During his time with Carolina and Buffalo, the team used him as one of their aces on special teams. He is in the NFL at age 31 because of special teams.
The Chicago Bears knew they could not continue to ask Sanborn to do this, and that 129 snaps, about 16 per game that they are losing. The Chicago Bears want to see what they have in Sanborn, but not just bring up anyone and lose the value that they had on special teams.
Klein is trusted in this area and can come in next week and chase down punts and kicks when called upon. If you want to get excited about anything that Klein brings, get excited that the special teams will not fall off in any way as the season continues.
Otherwise, the Chicago Bears made this move to increase depth, and potentially give Jack Sanborn a bigger role.