With great honor comes even greater responsibility.
And with Jaylon Johnson handling CB1 duties, the second-year cornerback gets the task of being a lockdown defender on the outside on a weekly basis. But there will be no challenge like the one awaiting him on Sunday when the Packers come to town. That’s because the Bears’ defense will see Davante Adams — arguably the league’s best receiver — lining up on the other side.
But will Adams see the Bears’ best when he looks across the field?
Bears CB Jaylon Johnson asked if he wants to “follow” Davante Adams on Sunday.
“I want to follow the best receiver in every game.”#Bears
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) October 13, 2021
That is exactly what one wants to hear from their favorite teams top coverage corner. If my top corner doesn’t want the smoke from the opposing team’s best receiver, then I’m not sure I can give them the distinction of CB1. Now, it’s a matter if the Bears scheme will allow for Johnson to shadow Adams throughout Sunday’s game.
Johnson lines up primarily on the right side of the defensive formation. Put it this way, if you’re watching on a TV at home, you’re seeing Johnson at the top of your screen. And to this point of the year, Johnson has been lining up there on 89 percent of his snaps. Meanwhile, the Packers deploy Adams all over formations. By PFF’s count, Adams’ pre-snap position is split between left (37%), right (29%), and slot (34%). In other words, for Johnson to truly shadow Adams, he’ll need to line up on the bottom of your screen and in the slot when duty calls. It’s one of those things that makes Adams such a tough cover. He can run any route on the tree from anywhere in any given formation. Hence, the desire to shadow him with your best corner.
For what it’s worth, this isn’t totally foreign to Johnson. The Bears had Johnson follow Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. throughout their Week 3 matchup. Beckham played 35 passing snaps and caught 5 passes for 77 yards in the game. Against Johnson, OBJ caught 2 of 5 targets for 42 yards. You can re-watch their matchup here and judge for yourself who came out on top. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing how the Bears let this play out.
And if Johnson wins, it could make a possible free agency pitch to Adams that much easier. But that is a conversation for the offseason.