Eddie Jackson recently talked with NBC Sports Chicago at his football camp at Benedictine University for the Gatorade Beat the Heat program. He answered a wide variety of questions, touching on everything from the double doink to Aaron Rodgers.
He chatted about his mindset going into the 2019 season: "We’re very special, man. Like I said, we’re planning on taking this whole thing and that’s something I’m very comfortable saying. Right now we’re just continuing to build, and we’ve got a lot of new faces right now. Everyone’s just falling in place and it’s just like home - everyone loves it. Coach Nagy has built something great for us to keep getting better and keep improving. He always says you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse, so right now that first-round playoff game is the fuel to our fire."
And about new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano: "His energy, his enthusiasm and also his play calling [are what stands out]. He does a lot of different things - I don’t want to go into too much detail, but a lot of things that are going to be fun and different and tricky for quarterbacks to see on the field."
He's also just as amped for Week 1 as you are: "Aw man, pumped. That’s the game that’s circled on my calendar. First game of the season. It’s Green Bay, 100, at our place. For all the things that Aaron Rodgers did to us last year, and all the subliminal messages this year. We got that in the back of our minds. We’re going to be ready."
Eddie Jackson: extremely ready for the season to start.
The Chicago Bears' decision to release veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara has created a void in the starting lineup on defense, one that recent CFL free-agent signee Tre Roberson will be given a chance fill. The Bears are expected to add more candidates for the job over the next couple of months, but Roberson (who was courted by nine teams this offseason) will have his shot.
“I just feel real comfortable there,” Roberson told Bears All Access about why he chose Chicago. “When I came on my visit to the Bears, my workout just felt like I was at home. They made sure I was real comfortable in every aspect of the trip. I just feel like a great place to be is close to home. I’m from Indianapolis, so it’s not too far away.
"We’ve been to Calgary, so it’s a long way from home. So I just feel like it was the best place for me, and I feel like I can help the organization get to the next level, which is winning the Super Bowl.”
Roberson's two-year, $1.235 million deal is a low-risk, high-reward transaction for GM Ryan Pace. At worst, Roberson turns into a contributor on special teams and a solid depth cornerback. But if the Bears catch lightning in a bottle and Roberson emerges as a legitimate and reliable starting cornerback, his contract will turn into one of the biggest bargains in the league.
Roberson had 10 interceptions during his two seasons in Canada, including seven in 2019. He was considered the top CFL free agent making the jump to the NFL this offseason and was rewarded with the most lucrative contract a Canadian League star has received since Cam Wake.
Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine (slot) have two of the three cornerback gigs locked up, and Kevin Toliver will likely get the first crack at replacing Amukamara (assuming the Bears don't add a veteran free agent this March). Even if they select a rookie early in the 2020 NFL draft, Toliver should have the first opportunity to prove he belongs in the starting lineup. He logged 175 snaps in 2019 and looked like an ascending talent.
By the time the regular season rolls around, however, it could be Roberson who goes from starting in Calgary to lining up as a starter in Chicago.
The Bears parted ways with wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, releasing him and cornerback Prince Amukamara on Friday.
Gabriel, who played two seasons with the Bears, took to Twitter to thank the fans and the city of Chicago as a whole for his time with the squad. His kind message came attached to video clips of two of Gabriel's six receiving touchdowns as a Bear.
Over his two years and 25 games with the Bears, Gabriel racked up 96 receptions, 1,041 yards, and 6 touchdowns.
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