Defining Chicago Bears linebacker roles


The Chicago Bears surprised many when they signed not one, but two big-name linebackers on the first day of free agency. The team did need a starter, but there was a thought that Jack Sanborn could eventually start.

What are Chicago Bears linebackers roles?

Sanborn may still start, but that would be as the third linebacker. Last season the Bears played MIKE and WILL 100% of the time, and they played the SAM closer to 25-40% of the time. It is clear that Sanborn will be the SAM of the three.

This is not what a lot of fans wanted, but it also is a pretty good role for him. Sanborn was excellent as a blitz option and run stuffer, but struggled in coverage. His role will be limited but will play to all of those skills.

The question of who is the MIKE and who is the WILL is not a huge deal because neither Edwards nor Edmunds will be leaving the field. Still, it will be interesting to see who lines up where, because both of them were the MIKE for their respective teams.

You have to assume that Edmunds is going to stay in the middle. The main reason is his size. He is good in coverage, but almost solely because of his size. in the middle of the defense when he just stands and sticks his arms up he disrupts passing lanes.

Meanwhile, T.J. Edwards is the more cerebral player. He is smaller and has shorter limbs, so he does not impact lanes the same way. Beyond that, he is better at chasing down plays to the flats, because he can read them well, break quickly, and take strong angles. These are not the best attributes for Edmunds.

Beyond that, Edmunds' size is better in the run game, and Edmunds is much better at rushing the passer from right up the gut.

Next. 5 things to know about Tremaine Edmunds. dark

Edwards lacks the speed for what you want from a run-and-chase player, but he brings everything else and fits the role a lot better than Edmunds. The Chicago Bears will likely put Tremaine Edmunds in the MIKE role, T.J. Edwards in the WILL, and then Jack Sanborn as a SAM.