Khalil Mack does a whole lot for the Bears. There’s the obvious stuff, like the sacks and demanding the attention of opposing offensive game plans. But apparently he’s a nifty recruiting tool for Ryan Pace, as well.
When speaking with the media in his introductory press conference, newly signed Bears cornerback Desmond Trufant mentioned the chance to play with Mack was a big factor in his decision to come to Chicago.
“You don’t get too many opportunities to play with a guy like him,” Trufant said. “He’s a Hall of Fame-type of player. And then the respect, what he’s been able to do. And I know he’s going to continue to do what he does. That makes my life easier as a corner. You got guys up front that are getting pressure like that. I’m really excited for this opportunity. I’m going to take advantage of it, for sure.”
Trufant is certainly the type of cornerback who can take advantage of that extra pressure up front. While he’s never led the league in interceptions, Trufant does have some ball-hawking traits with 14 interceptions across 103 career games. That comes out to an average of over two interceptions per 16-game season. He has good instincts undercutting routes to make plays on the ball, and when QBs have Mack bearing down on them, they’re more likely to make snap decisions that Trufant can pounce on.
But Mack isn’t the only guy Trufant is excited to play alongside. Eddie Jackson has caught his eye from afar, too.
“He's a game changer, he's a game wrecker,” Trufant said. “You turn on the film and on the back end he's making plays all over the field so I'm excited. There's a whole bunch of guys on that defense I'm excited to play with so I'm looking forward to it. I can just tell from his film he grinds in the film room. You know, he prepares himself mentally and physically. So, I'm excited. I can't wait to get out there with him.”
Then, there’s his partner on the other side of the field, Jaylon Johnson. Not only does Trufant respect Johnson’s game as a young corner, he’s looking forward to taking him under his wing.
“I've seen his game,” Trufant said. “He's a good young corner, got a lot of potential. He's got to just keep grinding and keep working. I'm looking forward to hooking up with him and working.”
While Trufant is eager to play with many great players on the Bears defense, he’s also eager to show them what he brings to the table himself.
“Obviously, I’ve got a lot of experience in this game, played against a lot of great players, had a lot of success in this league as well. So anything that they need as far as technique, anything off the field, the longevity of the game, just anything, I’m a resource for them.
“I can’t wait to get around the guys and show them how hard I work, show them how committed I am to this game and being a great player. I’ll lead by example. I’m looking forward to it.”