With a new coaching staff and a new outlook from the team, Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson is ready to have a breakout season.
The Chicago Bears are in a state of flux. This offseason, they brought in a new general manager in Ryan Poles and a new head coach in Matt Eberflus. Of course, Eberflus brought in his own staff.
There is a new outlook with the Bears. Poles wants to bring in different types of players. He wants to end the losing atmosphere that permeates Halas Hall. Additionally, his new coaching staff tries to do the same. There is a new era and Poles and the Bears ownership hope that things finally turn their way.
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With the new coaching staff, certain players get a fresh start. These players might have struggled over the past several seasons. They get a fresh start now and try to impress the new coaches so they get to stay.
Furthermore, it’s a fresh start for veterans who haven’t struggled as well. While they might have thrived before, they have to also try to impress the new coaches. These coaches aren’t tethered to any of these players so, no matter how good they might be, they could go. Take, for example, Khalil Mack.
New scheme, new players, new hope
One of the players who hope to impress the new coaching staff despite already being in good shape roster-wise is cornerback Jaylon Johnson.
Johnson had a pretty good two years in his career so far. He made such an impression so far that opposing teams decided to stop challenging him last season. With the other defensive backs struggling, why take a chance with a cornerback as good as Johnson?
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With Poles surprising many in this year’s draft by going with defensive backs with his two second round picks, the picture for Johnson likely looks rosier. One of the picks was cornerback Kyler Gordon.
Gordon has the same skills as Johnson so he’ll be the CB2 on the outside. The hope is that Gordon picks things up quickly and he helps Johnson. If opposing quarterbacks have to worry about Gordon, then they’ll end up taking more targets toward Johnson. That would be a win for him and the Chicago Bears.
Johnson is in favor of having a baptism through fire for Gordon and Jaquan Brisker, the safety taken with the other second round pick.
I’d throw ’em in the fire if you asking me. I mean, they’re our first two draft picks… I feel like we’ve got to (see) what they can do right now. And then I feel like we can kind of know what the attitude and what the vibe is heading into camp. If I was the coach I wouldn’t ease them into it. I would throw them out there.
it isn’t surprising that Johnson would have the top rookies get out there right away. That is what the Bears did with him when he was a rookie. He started the season as CB2 and did such a good job that the Bears felt they could cut former All-Pro cornerback Kyle Fuller.
With the two rookies now in place, Johnson is ready for a breakout season. Those rookies will hopefully force more targets for Johnson. As a result, he’ll have more opportunities for turnovers and big plays. His lone interception last year was the only one by a Chicago Bears cornerback. The defense needs more this season.
People around the league feel it as well. This is what Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report said about Johnson:
Imagine what Eberflus and his system can do with a talent the caliber of Johnson, who already looks like a star in the making. As a rookie, the 2020 second-round pick led all rookies in forced incompletions, per Pro Football Focus. The sophomore defensive back was counted among the league’s best last season in passer rating allowed and in single coverage.
The Bears are young and talented in their secondary, and the group should be built around Johnson’s coverage skills. He should be well on his way to Pro Bowl and possibly even All-Pro status.
Hopefully, things turn out the way Johnson and the Chicago Bears hope. He is a talented player and is ready to break out. Let’s see if it happens sooner rather than later.
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