At the NFL scouting combine, general manager Ryan Pace refused to see it as a choice between resigning slot cornerback Bryce Callahan or safety Adrian Amos in the Bears secondary.
“I wouldn’t say it’s either/or, and there’s ongoing discussions,” Pace said.
In the end Pace was sort of right. It wasn’t either/or.
It was neither.
When Callahan received $21 million for three years from the Denver Broncos Friday night it meant neither he nor Amos, their starting safety who signed with Green Bay, would be a part of future Bears Club Dubs.
Ultimately it wasn’t going to be the same in the secondary, anyway, because defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has already left and will get to coach Callahan again in Denver, and defensive backs coach Ed Donatell had also left for Denver.
New Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano will be making some changes, although Pace and coach Matt Nagy keep trying to convince people these are minor changes.
“There’s really no significant changes but I think Chuck’s done a good job of explaining some of the slight differences,” Pace said. “I also think Chuck understands these are our players and coaches can adapt to the players at hand, too, so there’s a little bit of that going on, too.”
Now, with former Packer/Redskin Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at safety and former Jet Buster Skrine at slot corner, the Bears have a good deal more playing experience, and production in terms of interceptions. They have 23 picks between them to seven for Callahan and Amos. But they also lack the cohesiveness and most likely the confidence that inevitably come with playing together for a long time in the same system and succeeding.
The Bears continue to eye a third pass rusher in free agency and there are a good number of low-cost veterans available.
With the way their secondary has changed so much, they’ll need any little edge a strong rush can provide to keep passers from finding their new flaws.
And by the way, the Bears play the Packers twice and Broncos once next season.