It’s not that the Bears didn’t need help on defense, after using all but one of their draft picks on the other side of the ball.
It’s primarily that they hope getting last year’s additions back on the field and healthy will make a bigger impact than any degree of rookies would.
That was the theme defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was stressing after minicamp, particularly hoping to see progress from outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (who missed four games with concussions and other injuries last year).
“He’s got a foundation of a year behind him, and he was only available about half the time last year,” Fangio said, via John Mullin of CSNChicago.com. “He had a bunch of those little injuries that interrupted his progress throughout the season. Hopefully with the year under his belt, getting in better shape, better condition, and take off. If he stays healthy, I feel good about him.
“He had a nice stretch there. I don’t remember the exact games, maybe it was like Game 9-12 where he was practicing and playing and you could see him coming. Then he got dinged twice in the last two games, or the last four games and it interrupted again.”
Floyd had seven sacks and showed plenty of promise. But he’s going to need help.
One guy who might not provide it soon is linebacker Danny Trevathan, after the free agent acquisition suffered a ruptured patellar tendon last November, and Fangio admitted he might not be ready for training camp.
But with other additions and returns the Bears could be looking at six new starters on defense from the group that finished the season, including nose tackle Eddie Goldman coming back and the addition of cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper and safety Quintin Demps.