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.”
The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.
They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.
The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.
The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.
The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.
The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.
The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.
Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.
0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?
4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go?
5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami
7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?
10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game
11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?
13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making
17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?
18:00– Bears need to run the ball more
21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets
Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.