Topping Bears general manager Ryan Pace’s to-do list for the offseason is completely overhauling the wide receiver position. It’s highlighted, underlined and better have a star next to it. Not to be forgotten is the future at cornerback, where the Bears have two players — Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller — in a contract year and a third, Marcus Cooper, effectively in a contract year. Cooper received $6 million this season and is under contract through 2019 with $2 million of his $5 million base salary for 2018 fully guaranteed on March 16, the third day of the league year. That means the Bears could release him before that date and walk away from the deal. That leaves a lot up in the air at a position the Bears have worked hard to overhaul since Pace and coach John Fox arrived, without developing long-term solutions. The remaining seven games represent a chance for all three cornerbacks to enhance their profiles. The good news is the defense has gotten better performance from the cornerbacks than it did the last two seasons. The Bears have allowed only 22 passes of 20 yards or more, tied for fourth-best in the league. Sunday’s loss to the Packers isn’t a shining example, but cornerback play has improved. Amukamara was called for a ticky-tack, 29-yard pass-interference penalty and filled the wrong gap on a 37-yard touchdown run by Ty Montgomery. Fuller had three missed tackles and was beaten for two long passes late in the game, including a 19-yard touchdown to Davante Adams when he was in the unenviable position of having to plaster his man with quarterback Brett Hundley outside the pocket. If the Bears are going to upset the Lions, who have won seven of the last eight meetings, they need to play well in the secondary. The ground game remains a rumor in Detroit, where the Lions have not finished in the top half in the league in rushing since Barry Sanders’ final season in 1998. They’re in the midst of the fourth-longest streak without a 100-yard rusher since 1960, according to footballperspective.com. A Lions back hasn’t gone for more than 100 yards since Nov. 28, 2013, when Reggie Bush ran for 117 against the Packers. They’ve played 61 regular-season games since.
Rotating cornerbacks gives Bears a chance to evaluate position under microscope
Chicago Tribune | Nov 19