Leonard Floyd Has Found the Missing Piece ... His Hands

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Leonard Floyd Has Found the Missing Piece … His Hands

Chicago Bears

The questions and concerns regarding the Chicago Bears’ pass-rush are unavoidable and justifiable. And because Khalil Mack probably isn’t walking through that door anytime soon, answers and solutions must come from within.

It all starts with Leonard Floyd, who has just 11.5 sacks in two (injury shortened) seasons with the Bears. Of course, Floyd was a top-10 pick in 2016, so there’s still plenty of hope that the University of Georgia product can play up to his draft position as soon as this season. In fact, Floyd’s position coach, Brandon Staley, sees evidence of the young pass-rusher’s growth growth in his hands: “His hands have come alive,” Staley said, via the Chicago Tribune’s Rich Campbell. “I think that was always, to me when I got here, the missing piece with him – just being able to use his speed, use his length and attack guys with his hands. I think that he still has a long way to go, but he’s coming. You can see it.”

If Floyd has developed/is coming up with usable pass-rush moves to go along with having a strong speed rush and length that can keep blockers off him, then the Bears’ pass rush becomes a little more fearsome.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Floyd arrived in Chicago with a professional frame, high-end athleticism, and tremendous upside. But he didn’t have much going for him as far as pro moves and tricks as a pass-rusher. Those are the kinds of things a good hands-on coach can help bring out of a developing player. Piecing everything together for Floyd has been a process and it’s one that is not yet complete. However, this represents a sign that Floyd is heading in the right direction. Rejoice!

History suggests that Year 3 is one where breakouts happen for players in Vic Fangio’s defense, and Floyd could be the next man up. Floyd is recovering from a season-ending knee injury, but went full speed at minicamp in June and didn’t seem to be held back at all during training camp. A healthy Floyd come be lined up to dominate in 2018, and if he has a few new tricks up his sleeve, we could be witnessing a potential Pro Bowl candidate.

Big things are on the horizon for Floyd, especially if he can stay healthy.



Author: Luis Medina

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