Getting To Know New Bears Safety Quintin Demps

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Getting To Know New Bears Safety Quintin Demps

Chicago Bears

Coming into the offseason, the Chicago Bears had glaring needs to fill in the secondary. The group was young, vulnerable, and in need of an injection of talent in an attempt to combat the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford.

While signing Quintin Demps to a three-year deal isn’t the kind of move that will change the Bears’ fortunes overnight, this transaction brings the Bears a steady, starting, veteran safety.

The hope here is Demps can give the kind of veteran know-how that will hopefully rub off on a group that featured seven players who were in their first or second seasons in the league, especially if he can lead by example with another productive year on the gridiron.

Player, Age (in 2017), Position

Quintin Demps, 32, safety

Contract

Three years, $13.5 million ($5 million in year one)

2016 Performance

  • Season stats: 13 games, 6 interceptions, 9 passes defended, 1 forced fumble, 38 tackles
  • Pro Football Focus Grade: 85.2, 12th best safety

Demps was a key cog in a secondary that Pro Football Focus ranked as the eighth best in the NFL in 2016. As a point of reference, the Bears ranked 30th. Demps (83.0) graded out as the best run defender in the group, while his 83.3 coverage rating in 2016 would have been the best among Bears secondary members. He ranked third among Houston’s defensive backs in tackles, and tied for second in passes defended. 

Performance Before 2016

  • Career stats: 107 games (41 starts), 18 interceptions, 45 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles (3 recoveries), 192 tackles
  • PFF grades: 50.2 (2008), 69.6 (2009), 50.8 (2011), 51.6 (2012), 53.2 (2013), 67.5 (2014), 75.4 (2015)

The Bears will be Demps’ fourth team in five years, but the safety seemed to find himself in his second stint in Houston over the last two years. Demps’ journey to becoming a player the Bears will look to for veteran leadership and production was a circuitous one. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008 (Round 4, Pick 117) and played two years where he split time between the secondary and as a kick returner (averaging 25.3 yards per return), but was waived by the team in September 2010.

From there he spent nearly a month with the Hartford Colonials of the UFL in 2010 before signing with the Texans in December. Demps was cut in September 2011, but re-signed a month after injuries depleted Houston’s secondary. He would move on to the Kansas City Chiefs (2013) and New York Giants (2014), before returning to the Texans in 2015.

Demps really hit his stride starting in 2013. Over the last four years, Demps has 15 interceptions, 32 passes defended, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries (including one that went for a touchdown).

Highlights

Injury History

Demps missed some time due to a calf injury in 2016, and also exited the Texans’ wild-card game win against the Raiders because of a hamstring injury. Unfortunately, it was an injury that also sidelined him for Houston’s divisional round game against the Patriots.

Where Demps Fits

The Bears’ needs in the secondary were glaring heading into the offseason, but after striking out in their efforts to land Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Bouye, the Bears landed their first new member of the secondary in Demps. Chicago’s secondary struggled mightily in 2016, and Demps is the kind of player who can provide a steady veteran presence for a group featuring at least five returnees who will play in their age 24 season or younger in 2017.

However, Demps’ signing is about more than adding experience. Demps will be expected to continue to supply the kind of ball-hawking skills that made him a significant contributor to a Houston defense that allowed the second fewest passing yards, and tied for fifth fewest receiving touchdowns allowed. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, secondary coach Ed Donatelle, and new assistant Roy Anderson have their work cut out for them as they try to mold the Bears secondary into something better than it was in 2016. Demps’ presence should help.

Quotable

“You have to be patient. You have to be disciplined. You have to let it come to you, man. You can’t go for it, you can’t force it. Because then you’re going to give up something. So you have to wait, be patient and let it come to you.”

In Friday’s introductory press conference, Demps weighed in on his ability to create turnovers. Considering his six interceptions were almost as many as the Bears had during the entire 2016 season (8), picking Demps’ brain seems like a good place to start.


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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.