Comparing Chicago Bears linebacker Jack Sanborn to Brian Urlacher

Chicago Bears - Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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When Jack Sanborn hit the stage during the preseason, he showed fans and coaches what he is capable of doing in the NFL. He was not only all over the field, but he was making impactful plays like making tackles in the backfield and creating takeaways. The Chicago Bears defensive coaching staff should be excited by what they saw. It honestly, might be another reason why Ryan Poles felt it was safe to trade away his young star linebacker, Roquan Smith. Let’s do some stat comparisons, shall we?

Right off the bat, I think comparing stats on their own is a mistake. Linebackers are typically going to see the most tackles for a defense on a weekly basis. Safeties may challenge that sometimes, but defensive schemes are designed to filter running backs into the middle where the linebacker is waiting.

Jack Sanborn should be considered as a starter for the Chicago Bears in 2023

This is why watching film is important too. It gives you a better sense of what the player is doing. Are they staying in their zone? Are they crashing into the right hole? Are they using their instincts to make a big play? Are they taking the right angles? How are they handling their coverage assignments? This is all important and doesn’t always show up on a stat sheet. Jack Sanborn hasn’t been perfect, but he’s been technically sound on most plays.

Here’s a statistical comparison of how Roquan Smith and Jack Sanborn have compared since the Chicago Bears traded Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens.