Jaquan Brisker

Bears player tabbed NFL breakout candidate by Sports Illustrated

The Bears roster is filled with young intriguing talent

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The folks at Sports Illustrated are getting ready for the 2023 NFL season by going in depth on all 32 teams over 32 days. On Monday, it was the Bears’ turn. Matt Verderame broke down weak spots (defensive line), strong points (Justin Fields) and potential fantasy starts (Khalil Herbert). He also included a breakout candidate, not just on the Bears, but across the entire league: Jaquan Brisker.

“Brisker shined for Chicago in a lost season,” Verderame wrote. “The rookie played in 15 games and totaled 104 tackles, including five for loss, along with four sacks and an interception. Perhaps most impressively, Brisker didn’t miss a single snap when active.”

Interestingly, Brisker said last year was a disappointment based on his standards, largely because of a thumb injury that set him back early in the year.

“I felt like last year I should have, I felt like I could have been more involved in the defense and things like that,” Brisker said earlier this month. “This year I feel a lot more comfortable with the coaches, with the defense, with the players. I feel like myself. I feel like it’s going to be a way different year than it was last year.”

Brisker was unhappy with some of his footwork from last season and added his eyes were sometimes in the wrong place. He’s confident he can clean that up this year. Further, Brisker believes he can help the defense in different ways. Brisker played almost exclusively if not entirely at strong safety, but has already taken some snaps at free safety this summer as Eddie Jackson ramps up from his Lisfranc injury.

“Just being moved around, being involved, playing low, playing high, getting more blitzes, getting my name called more, things like that,” Brisker said.

“Let me help my teammates, let me help us win. That's why I'm here. To win games, to go to the playoffs and win a Super Bowl.”

Verderame doesn't see a Super Bowl in the Bears’ future this year, but he does see Brisker helping the team moving forward.

“The Bears have a long way to go before fielding a title-contending defense, but Brisker has the look of a cornerstone,” Verderame wrote. “He can do it all from the back end, giving coach Matt Eberflus a potential star in the making.”

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