Bears senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino hasn’t been with the team very long, but he’s been there long enough to know that Khalil Mack is the team’s best pass rusher.
Monachino thinks there’s a chance that changes in the near future, however. He said that Leonard Floyd “has a bigger toolbox” as a natural pass rusher than anyone else on the team and went on to say that Floyd has other attributes that set him apart from others inside and outside the organization.
“This is a rare athlete playing the position,” Monachino said, via Kevin Fishbain of TheAthletic.com. “There’s a whole bunch of guys that are great hammers and guys that have the pass-rush gene that have that dominant trait. This is a rare athlete for the position. I’ve coached a bunch of good ones. I’ve coached big ones, I’ve coached smart ones, I’ve coached fast ones. I’ve never coached an athlete like this. … His length. His short-area quickness. Long speed. The ability to cover and change direction. All of those things are very special with this player.”
Floyd has 15.5 sacks through his first three seasons and is coming off playing in every game for the first time in those three seasons. That’s allowed him to avoid any rehab work this offseason and the increased practice time has left Floyd feeling that his “confidence is way high” about the year to come.
If that confidence translates into the kind of jump Monachino suggests Floyd can make, both edges of the Bears defense are going to be a handful for opposing offenses.