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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Chicago Bears, Jack Sanborn
Chicago Bears – Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Jack Sanborn has been a more than suitable replacement for Roquan Smith

After Roquan Smith left, many fans were concerned about how this defense would respond. Well, it hasn’t been any better, but it really hasn’t been worse — at least not at the linebacker spot. In his first game as a starter, Sanborn started as the weak side linebacker (WILL) but was quickly moved into the middle. Nicholas Morrow kicked out to the weak side spot. Sanborn has seen his time of play increase from 88% of the defensive snaps and now up to 100% since starting.

This isn’t a way of saying that Jack Sanborn is as good or better than Roquan Smith. This isn’t a way of saying Jack Sanborn will become the next Brian Urlacher either. Sanborn is a football player. He’s proving it on the field. However, he has a long way to become Urlacher despite many joking (myself included) to already put Jack Sanborn in the Hall of Fame. This is just an average per-game look at the linebackers’ stats. We will look at per-game stats because there isn’t a direct comparison of starts and snaps.

"Jack Sanborn – Four Starts for the Chicago Bears 8.5 Solos Per Game 2.25 Assists Per Game 0.5 Sacks Per Game 1 Tackles For Loss Per Game 93.25% of Defensive Snaps Per Game Roquan Smith – Three Starts for the Baltimore Ravens 4.3 Solos Per Game 2.33 Assists Per Game 0.3 Sacks Per Game 0.3 Tackles For Loss Per Game 92% of Defensive Snaps Per Game"

Jack Sanborn has been playing well enough to not be concerned with trading Roquan Smith. Sanborn may not have the sideline-to-sideline speed that Smith has, but he uses his intelligence to make the right reads and take the right angles to make the play on the ball carrier. If we look at impact plays, Sanborn had an interception that should have stood if not for a bad penalty call. He had a fumble recovery on special teams. Roquan Smith doesn’t have any turnovers for Baltimore.