The Chicago Bears protection had an surprising comeback story

The crazy thing about regime change in the NFL is that it doesn’t always mean every player should fear for their job. Sometimes there are rare cases where something that seemed like a lost cause suddenly finds a new life in a different system with different coaching. People almost wrote Marcus Robinson off after two forgettable years in 1997 and 1998. Then a new coaching staff arrived, and in 1999 it exploded 1,400 yards. It shouldn’t be crazy to think that the same thing could happen again Chicago Bears. There is one such case that may develop.

When it comes to the defensive cornerback situation, the conversation centers around three main names. There is one Jaylon Johnson, one is Kyler Gordon and the last is Tavon Young. Most expected that in 2022 this trio will become the starting group. But after watching early training camp practices, this isn’t Young’s run with the first-team defense. Nor is Thomas Graham Jr. nursing a bad hamstring.

This is Kindle Vildor.

Many Bears fans groan when they hear that name. They have nightmares about what happened last season. The former 5th round pick had 596 yards and six touchdowns last season. Quarterbacks have a 136.1 passer rating when targeting him. There is no doubt that he was the weak link in the secondary. Most thought it would eventually be cut. However, this did not happen.

If anything, the opposite is happening. With Graham out of practice, Wildor has gotten more possessions with the starting defense and isn’t wasting them. Rumor has it that he made some nice plays during practice. One of the ways he caught the head coach’s interest Matt Eberflus is his will to fight. He is not afraid of contact. That’s a big deal in this defense. That growing confidence seems to have only given the 24-year-old corner more confidence.

The Chicago Bears put him in a better situation.

Not only do they play a defense that eases the burden on the cornerback, but they also turn to Alan Williams for instruction. The new defensive coordinator has been a defensive backs coach for two decades. He has a long and successful track record of developing young cornerbacks. Wildor is far from the first land reclamation project he has encountered. If he thinks the third-year corner is salvageable, it’s best to trust his judgment.

The Chicago Bears Choosing to play Gordon at nickel corner is what makes this development so unusual. The expectation was that they would want him in front of Johnson. But Eberflus and the staff like him inside, where his instincts and quickness can give them an edge. Since Young isn’t known for quality play on the outside, that allowed Wildor to get back into the situation.

An opportunity he did not miss.

The big test is yet to come. It’s one thing to look sharp in practice. Wildor needs to show he can translate that into game situations. Eberflus plans to let the starters play big time in the preseason. If guys want to impress, now is the time to do it. Second chances are rare in this league. Wildor was lucky.

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