The NFL chooses which Chicago Bears player will make his first Pro Bowl
The Chicago Bears likely won’t make the Super Bowl this year. It should be a rebuilding season to determine which players are part of the franchise’s long-term vision. In these cases, the Pro Bowl can often become a great way for someone to establish themselves in that image. Of course, they have to be on the good side of 30 for that. Guys like Robert Quinn and Eddie Jackson don’t qualify.
This raises an interesting question. A lot of young guys on this team haven’t made the Pro Bowl yet. Perhaps the arrival of a new coaching staff could help them get over the hurdle. Who is most likely to do this? There are several candidates. Jaylon Johnson is an emerging presence at cornerback. Darnell Mooney rushed for 1,000 yards last season and has growing chemistry with Justin Fields. David Montgomery has topped 1,000 scrimmage yards every year and is finally in an offensive system that should work for him. Yet none of them were chosen by NFL.com’s Nick Shook.
He opted for the low-hanging fruit instead: linebacker Roquan Smith.
“Smith has earned two second-team All-Pro selections, but he hasn’t received a Pro Bowl nod at this point. Something’s wrong with that. We don’t expect the Bears are a serious contender this season, but if we’re going to pick a player with the best chance of reaching the Pro Bowl on Chicago’s roster, the obvious choice is Smith I mean the rest of the football world will eventually become wise, right?”
It’s no shock that Smith is the pick. It could be argued that he should have been in the Pro Bowl for the past two years. That’s how great he was for the Bears. If we compare his production, he is on the same trajectory as Brian Urlacher during his first four seasons. Even crazier is that Smith is set to switch to the same defense Urlacher did in 2004 under Lovie Smith. The same system that made him Defensive Player of the Year. Imagine what Roquan could do with Matt Eberflus now in the lead.
The Chicago Bears have a lot of potential among them.
Smith is already a star. Sure, the fan vote hasn’t caught up with it yet, but the movie doesn’t lie. He is one of the top five linebackers in the NFL. That’s a fact. Putting him in the hands of a coach who developed Darius Leonard is not something the league is ready for. The only decision is whether Smith will play center linebacker in the new 4-3 system or if they try to move him on the outside. It will depend on what he is comfortable with.
Don’t expect the Chicago Bears to just elevate it, though. Their main objective is to teach with this new staff. It means helping players understand how to do something and why they do it that way. When this happens, execution almost always improves. If guys like Johnson, Mooney and Montgomery get more help from the systems, their Pro Bowl aspirations should skyrocket.
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