The Bears are no strangers to what Montez Sweat can do. Throughout the locker room, Sweat’s new defensive line teammates praised what they’ve seen on tape, from his size to his speed. To a man, they’re excited about the boost he can bring to the defensive line and how that can spread to help the linebackers and defensive backs. The defenders won’t really know exactly how Sweat’s addition will impact the unit until they get on the field together, though. The guys on offense however, have a pretty good idea of what he can do.
The Bears played the Commanders– Sweat’s former team– in each of the last two seasons. And in each of those games, Sweat left his mark. This year Sweat had 1.5 sacks, one TFL and six tackles total. Last year he had one sack, two TFLs and six total tackles, again.
“When I was studying him he looked like a really good player,” said right tackle Darnell Wright, the man charged with defending Sweat in Week 5 this season. “Played hard and he was a really long player. Really strong. At the point of attack he was strong.
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“He had a lot of wiggle to him.”
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy had to gameplan against Sweat, and had some extra intel on him since they crossed paths at Mississippi State. In 2018, Sweat played for the Bulldogs while Getsy was their OC and wide receivers coach.
Thinking back on that season, Getsy remembered Sweat as a great teammate with a strong work ethic.
“I jokingly said to the coaches I can remember instead of running the gassers with the D-linemen and stuff, like the conditioning stuff, he would be the DBs and keeping up with those guys,” Getsy said.
Fast forward to now, and Getsy says Sweat is a more complete player.
“The cool part about him is I remember him as a college player being a great pass rusher. I think what he's done with his game since he's been in the NFL, he's become a great run defender as well,” Getsy said. “Having that dual threat, playing the game in all phases is really where he's developed.”
The Bears pass rush has been one of the team’s biggest deficiencies for the past year and a half. Last season they ranked last in the NFL with 20 sacks. Eight weeks into this season they’re last again with 10 sacks.
Adding Sweat should help, since he’s another big time playmaker who demands attention from opposing offenses. He’ll force teams to make more choices about where to slide protections, which could create more one-on-one opportunities for others like Yannick Ngakoue.
Sweat has 6.5 sacks, 10 TFLs and two forced fumbles this season. He has 35.5 sacks, 47 TFLs and nine forced fumbles in 67 career games.