The Bears Secondary is Bringing Home Some Major Hardware

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The Bears Secondary is Bringing Home Some Major Hardware

Chicago Bears

No, the Chicago Bears defense didn’t look anything like we’re used to seeing.

This wasn’t the hard-hitting, game-wrecking bunch we’ve grown accustomed to seeing throughout our lives watching the Bears. But it’s not as if was all bad. Don’t get me wrong. There was a lot of bad. Chicago’s defense might as well have been playing under a dark cloud.

However, every cloud comes with a silver lining. And for these Bears, the bright spot on a defense that was otherwise grim was the safety tandem of Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker — each of whom earned some serious hardware this week:

Jackson was the first-ever recipient of Head Coach Matt Eberflus’ Ballhawk Award. Meanwhile, Brisker earned the team’s Rookie of the Year honors. Hey now, I’ll admit that maybe it’s not as cool as a fancy French leg lamp. But it ain’t nothing!

I’m not sure anyone on the defense was more deserving of an award honoring their season than Jackson. The bounce-back year Jackson put on in 2022 was a reminder that he still had big-time playmaking ability in him. Before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 12, Jackson had 4 interceptions, 6 pass breakups, and 2 forced fumbles. Jackson entered the year getting a clean slate from this coaching staff and made the most of it. And, frankly, the coaching staff made the most of having a player with Jackson’s diverse skillset. We’ve not seen Jackson be used like this in a long time (if ever). You just love to see stuff like that from a player with his ability. Tack on Jackson earning captain status and leaning into a leadership role, this was my favorite season of his since 2018.

As for Brisker, no rookie did more than the second-round pick from Penn State. Brisker was a baller from the get-go. Remember how he was a standout performer in the Bears’ preseason opener? Well, he would take that energy and display it throughout the entirety of the regular season. Brisker was a stat-sheet stuffer all year long. He racked up 104 tackles (73 solo!), collected 5 tackles-for-loss, had a forced fumble and a recovery, and came away with 2 pass breakups, an interception, 4 quarterback hits, and a team-leading 4 sacks. It is never good when your team’s most successful pass-rusher is a safety, but we’ll allow it for this season because it showed off Brisker’s versatility. I can’t wait to see how the Bears use him and Jackson in tandem together next year.

Especially if they beef up the defensive front with someone like Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter. 😉

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Author: Luis Medina

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