Head Coach Matt Eberflus’ deployment of the weekly honorary captain’s patch has been fun to follow, as it helps us track who’s earning what in the eyes of the coaches and players.
All things considered, it was only a matter of time before cornerback Jaylon Johnson got the call and was named a captain for a given game week. And it is happening THIS WEEK, with Johnson being named captain for Sunday’s game against the Eagles:
Between trades of Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, plus the season-ending injury to Eddie Jackson, Johnson is probably the best Bears defender left standing. Then again, he probably could’ve made a strong case to be the team’s top defensive player had there not been trades and if everyone was healthy. Johnson doesn’t have any interceptions this year and has just four passes defended to his name this year. But he does have a forced fumble and fumble recovery to his credit. And I wonder what his numbers would look like had teams not avoided throwing in his direction.
Perhaps more important than numbers has been Johnson embracing a leadership role this season. Johnson has been vocal about how the new staff has been holding players accountable in building up before the season. He has also made it known that he believes the Bears are closer to winning than we might otherwise think. The Bears’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for 2022 has done a whole bunch of growing this year. He has certainly come a long way since running with the second-team defense during OTAs.