In an interview with the Bernstein and McKnight Show on 670 The Score, Chicago Bears outside linebacker James Vaughters talked about the emphasis new Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano has put on creating turnovers when his unit is on the field.
“It’s a cultural thing. He wants to build a culture thinking about takeaways in practice, thinking about takeaways in games. We have players who have done that already in the past. It’s like two strong forces coming together, really understanding the importance of taking the ball away as a defense.”
You can listen to more of Vaughters’ interview with 670 The Score below:
But wait … who is James Vaughters? That’s a great question. Allow me to provide an answer.
Pass-rushing depth has been a low-key point of concern for the Bears this summer. Khalil Mack is a star. Leonard Floyd is a trusty sidekick. Aaron Lynch always seems to be there when he is needed in a pinch. But something remains missing from this group, and Vaughters could be the answer to what the Bears are looking for from a depth perspective.
The preseason presents opportunities for those who make plays, and Vaughters saw an open door, ran through it, and did something that could ultimately help him capture a spot on the depth chart that would otherwise go to someone else.
Check out this awesome strip-sack from last Friday’s exhibition against the Giants:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 17, 2019
Vaughters’ awesome strip-sack of top Giants draft pick Daniel Jones opened eyes, as did his quarterback pressure that directly led to Clifton Duck’s impressive interception. Those two flashes should have put him on the Bears’ radar. As should his mentality.
Turnovers fluctuate from year to year, but effort doesn’t have too. Bears fans know the importance of stressing the value of creating turnovers, because it was something Lovie Smith drilled during his tenure in Chicago. As a result of coaching and having top-end talent, the Bears were constantly one of the best turnover-forcing defenses in football.
So while Vaughters doesn’t have a unique prospect pedigree and has bounced around and spent time with the Chargers, Packers, and in the Canadian Football League, the fact that he understands the Bears’ culture could ultimately give him a leg up in the chase for a roster spot. With that in mind, let’s keep an eye on what he has for an encore later this week.