The crazy thing about regime changes in the NFL is that it doesn’t always mean every player should fear their jobs. Sometimes there are rare cases where a person who seemed to have lost his cause suddenly finds a new life in a different system under different training. People almost wrote off Marcus Robinson after two forgettable years in 1997 and 1998. Then a new coaching staff came in, and he exploded for 1,400 yards in 1999. It shouldn’t be crazy to think the same thing can happen again. Chicago Bears. There is one such situation that may be developing.
The conversation centers around three main names when talking about the defensive situation. It is one Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon is one of them, and Tavon Young is the last. Most expected that trio to be the starting group in 2022. But looking at early practices, Young isn’t running with the first-team defense. Thomas Graham Jr. is not. who is nursing your bad cradle.
It is Kindle Vildor.
Many Bears fans will cringe when they hear that name. They have nightmares about what happened last season. The former 5th round pick allowed 596 yards and six touchdowns last season. Quarterbacks had a 136.1 passer rating when targeting him in coverage. He had no question that he was the weak link of the middle school. Most assumed it would eventually get cut at some point. But that didn’t happen.
If anything, the opposite is happening. With Graham able to practice, Vildor has gotten more snaps with the starting defense and he’s not wasting them. He is said to have made some nice plays during drills. One way to get the head coach’s interest Matt Eberflus is he willing to fight. He is not afraid of contact. That’s a big deal in this defense. That increased confidence only seems to have given the 24-year-old corner more confidence.
The Chicago Bears put him in a better position.
Not only are they playing a defense that eases the burden on the cornerbacks, but they are also led by Alan Williams. The new defensive coordinator was a defensive backs coach for two decades. He has a long and successful track record of developing young cornerbacks. Vildor is far from the first reclamation project he has encountered. If he thinks the third-year corner can be saved, he better trust his judgment.
The IS Chicago Bears Choosing to play Gordon at nickel corner makes this development so unusual. They were expected to like him on the outside opposite Johnson. But Eberflus and the team like him on the inside, where his instincts and quickness could give them an advantage. Since Young is not known for quality play on the outside, that gave Vildor a chance to re-enter the situation.
An opportunity he did not waste.
The big test is yet to come. Looking sharp in practice is one thing. Vildor needs to show that he can transfer it to game situations. Eberflus plans to let the starters play significant chunks in the preseason. If guys want to make an impression, that will be the time to do it. One rarely gets a second chance in this league. Vildor is lucky.
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