One emphasis of the Bears’ offseason efforts was an upgrade of special teams, which included signing returner Omar Bolden from Denver and re-signing leading tacklers like Sam Acho and Sherrick McManis.
In the sixth round of the draft the Bears went that direction again, selecting William & Mary defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson, who has played both cornerback and safety but also blocked nine kicks in his four seasons.
“The main thing is just preparation and the film study,” Houston-Carson explained. “And then just my position coach putting us in position to make those plays.”
Houston-Carson was not given any indication whether he is ticketed for cornerback or safety job competitions. Like others in the Bears’ 2016 draft class (defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, offensive lineman Cody Whitehair), Houston-Carson started at different positions and finished his college career with 10 interceptions.
“I think I was comfortable at both positions,” Houston-Carson said. “[William & Mary] coaches asked me to make a position change due to depth chart issues at the beginning of the spring semester. I felt I’d be willing to do it, and I think it went well.
“We had a good season this year. We had a chance to get a conference championship, so I think it went well.”