Tremaine Edmunds

Tremaine Edmunds wins Bears Ballhawk award. How it's scored and why he beat Jaylon Johnson

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus presented Tremaine Edmunds with the postseason award

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The Bears announced on Wednesday that Tremaine Edmunds was their winner for the 2023 Ballhawk Award. Head coach Matt Eberflus created the in-house award to recognize the player who made the most impact taking the ball away on defense, which is a huge emphasis of his program. 

The Ballhawk winner is not subject to debate. There’s a specific scoring rubric that Eberflus follows to determine the winner: two points for a touchdown, one point for an interception, forced fumble or fumble recovery. Edmunds led the way with eight points (one TD, four INTs, one FF, one FR). Jaylon Johnson came in second with seven points (one TD, four INTs, one FF). T.J. Edwards (three INTs, one FF, two FRs) and Tyrique Stevenson (four INTS, two FFs) tied for third place with six points each.

Edmunds was the top free agent signing heading into the 2023 season, and he lived up to the billing in his first year with the team. Obviously the takeaways played a huge role in his personal success, but Edmunds was also a key figure in the Bears’ improved run defense. His 113 tackles were second on the team, trailing only his partner in the middle, T.J. Edwards. 

There was some debate heading into the year whether it made sense for the Bears to part ways with Roquan Smith, only to shell out big bucks to Edmunds, but Edmunds’ far superior ball production numbers illustrate why the Bears were keen to make the switch.

Eddie Jackson took home the Ballhawk trophy in 2022 with six points (four INTs, two FFs).

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