The Packers Exposed Rookie CB Kyler Gordon, But Matt Eberflus Lent Some Support

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The Packers Exposed Rookie CB Kyler Gordon, But Matt Eberflus Lent Some Support

Chicago Bears

There was always going to be a bunch of pressure on Kyler Gordon — that comes with the territory of being the first-ever draft pick from a new general manager. And, of course, there will always be some added pressure on cornerbacks, who play the second toughest position on the defensive side of the ball (in my opinion).

Unfortunately, the early returns aren’t great. And we can’t not address them. Brace yourselves, Bears fans. This ain’t pretty:

Again, Gordon was always going to be under a microscope as a rookie no matter what. But the Packers took it to the extreme. Not that it was unexpected, mind you.

Aaron Rodgers probably had Gordon circled in film study as soon as prep work for Week 2 began in Green Bay. A nuisance online, but a cerebral assassin under center, Rodgers targeting the second-round rookie early and often felt like an obvious play. And they made the most of it, bullying the young player throughout the game. Moreover, it felt like every opportunity they took to pick on Gordon in coverage was a big moment. That’ll happen when you’re a rookie playing your first Bears-Packers game under the lights at Lambeau Field.

But it wasn’t all bad. This was a solid play from Gordon in the early going:

I’ve seen so many Bears corners over the years get (1) beaten for a tuddy or (2) flagged for pass interference in that situation. So to see Gordon answer the bell early was encouraging. The rest of the night didn’t go all that well. But that flash moment saved it from being a wholly unmitigated disaster.

Leave it to NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger to make me feel a little better about Gordon, who definitely has tools worth working with and developing. This two-minute breakdown is worth your time:

What might fly under the radar now is something that could turn out to be the most important thing to come out of Gordon’s second week.

During Matt Eberflus’ Monday press conference, the Bears head coach was asked what message he had for Gordon after Sunday’s game. And Eberflus relayed his comments, which I found rather heartening:

“It’s everything I say to every young player that’s gone through these moments: There is going to be ebb and flow over the course of a rookie season. And that’s the way it is. … And what you tell them is is: Hey, take one experience at a time and put it in your file. You have to learn from that. So go back and look at all the plays that you made, all the plays that you want to correct, and put them in a file. Say ‘What should I have done?’ And put those to memory. Make sure you study those things and visualize those things as you go through the course of the week coming up, so you can make those corrections. Because a good pro doesn’t make the same mistake twice. They get better, and they improve.”

This is such an important message for the coach to send to a player. Especially one so early in his professional career. And not to be left out, Eberflus is the perfect messenger. Eberflus is a first-year head coach, but he has been at this coaching thing for a while. That gives him a unique perspective into what a player is experiencing and how he can connect to said player when they are struggling. Nothing is going to make Gordon feel better about how that game went. But getting some words of encouragement heading into Week 3 is so important as we move forward.

Onward.


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Author: Luis Medina

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