New Bears Safety Kevin Byard Has Revealing Comments About Eddie Jackson’s Playing Style

Veteran safety Kevin Byard is very likely going to be one of the most crucial additions the Chicago Bears made this offseason.

Chicago inked Byard to a two-year, $15 million contract in March, with $7.4 million guaranteed. After cutting ties The Bears signed Byard as a substitute for former free safety Eddie Jackson, who played seven seasons in the Windy City, to help stabilize the middle of the field.

During OTAs, Byard talked to the media about how his versatility as a strong and free safety can benefit the secondary, especially third-year defensive back Jaquan Brisker.

“I am aware that for a brief period of time last year, Bristner was somewhat within the box and Bojack (Jackson) was kind of in the back or whatever. At least not for us in the beginning of the year, I don’t want to witness that. Simply said, work it. Breaker said, “Let’s be adaptable,” before going into more detail.

Kevin Byard Promises to Bring Versatility to Secondary Eddie Jackson Lacked

Byard, who intends to work with the young DB on masking coverages, should get along well with Brisker, an athletic and hard-hitting safety who is still in his early twenties.

“I want no part of teams to start saying things like, ‘Hey, you’re in the box, or I’m deep,’ or anything like. In order to prevent teams from actually figuring out what the coverage is, let’s both do the same things, Byard stated.

In his eight years in the NFL, Byard has played 4,002 snaps at free safety, 2,709 snaps in the box, and 1,249 snaps lined up in the slot, according to PFF. I’m interested to see what kind of depth and experience he can bring to the Bears secondary.

“I believe the league is currently what it is. Guys should be adaptable, Byard said, adding:

“I believe it’s a lot for quarterbacks and similar positions. Teams watch footage in an attempt to find any kind of clue or key that would reveal the kind of defense these players will employ. Therefore, we hope not to be able to divulge that. Our goal is to be adaptable and difficult for attackers to exploit.

To be clear, Byard wasn’t disparaging Jackson; rather, he was just asserting that he could conceal his coverages more effectively than the former Bear.

Byard Looking to Bounce Back With Bears in 2024

Byard, 30, is a two-time All-Pro. After playing for the Tennessee Titans for over seven seasons, Byard was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles mid-season last year. He struggled a bit in Philly, perhaps in part because he had to learn a new system on the fly without training camp or the preseason.

In order to save cap space this spring, the Eagles dismissed Byard, and the Bears acquired him.Byard concluded the previous season with 122 total tackles, three pass breakups, and an interception in 16 games with the Eagles and Titans combined.

He now joins a youthful secondary that includes third-year DB Kyler Gordon and Brisker, a Pro Bowl cornerback named Jaylon Johnson.

In reference to Chicago’s defense, Byard stated, “I expect us to be really good this year.” That anticipation should be met if he and Brisker can develop into a strong tandem in coverage and against the run.

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