There’s a lot to love about Chicago Bears rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon, who was the team’s top selection in the 2022 NFL draft. Not only does Gordon project as an immediate starter, he has versatility playing outside as well as in the slot.
Which begs the question: What do the Bears envision for Gordon’s rookie season? Right now, the plan is for Gordon to play outside, presumably opposite CB1 Jaylon Johnson as a starter.
“We’re just going to let him do what he does and just kind of see how he shakes out,” defensive coordinator Alan Williams told reporters. “Just give him one thing to do, and right now, that’s outside. Then we’ll see how much he can do, how much we can push him. But as of right now, he’ll be an outside corner.”
Williams went on to explain how the nickel back position is arguably the most difficult to play on defense given the multitude of responsibilities. They’re not looking to put too much on Gordon’s plate — at least from the start — but that could certainly change down the line.
“The nickel is probably the hardest position on the football field,” Williams said. “It used to be that the nickel was the twelfth guy or the thirteenth guy that you’d have. Now in today’s football, when you have so much sub or 11 personnel, that guy is a starter. That guy is a critical piece of the defense, and that guy has to do a lot of things. He’s got to fit like a linebacker and a safety. He’s got to cover like a corner. He’s got to have the mentality of a Mike linebacker.
“So, to have him go outside and inside, it’s tough on a rookie. So, to stick him in one place and let him go and develop and learn and feel comfortable, right now, that’s the plan. But that’s the plan to be determined. I get to change it when need be if we need to.”
The Bears will ultimately do what’s best for the defense in the long run. Perhaps that includes a future switch to the slot for Gordon. But at least for now, there’s a clear plan for Gordon’s rookie season.