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Robert Quinn Will Take the Bears Defense to Another Level

With Robert Quinn in tow the Bears defense can return to its 2018 form.

Photo: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Last year Bears fan’s watched opposing offenses throw everything they could at Kahlil Mack. Double teams, triple teams, chip blocks, and rolling the pocket away from Mack helped the opposing teams limit his production. As soon as Akiem Hicks got injured, Mack and the rest of the teams had trouble getting to the quarterback. All year long people asked “where is everyone else?” particularly Leonard Floyd, if Mack has so many bodies on him. The fan base grew to resent Floyd. While not all of Floyd’s criticism was fair, he was drafted by the Bears with the expectation he would become an elite edge rusher. Even though Pace supported Floyd until his face turned blue, he still felt the need to replace him this offseason.

Robert Quinn will give Bears fans everything they wanted from Floyd. He has an array of tools and a nose for the football.

The clips from the tweet above showcase all the tools Robert Quinn is equipped with. Quinn plays fast. He may not have the fastest 40 times, but he is a smart and efficient pass rusher. Quinn’s tape is littered with relentless effort and unwillingness to quit. This is highlighted in the first two clips. The first clip shows Quinn’s ability to recover and finish using a second pass-rushing move. It starts with Quinn being steered around the edge of the pocket and Sam Darnold stepping up. He notices, spins, and is able to finish the play with a sack. The second clip starts in a similar way, but this time Quinn is almost dragged to the ground. He shows that bendability that analysts always talk about, and as the tackle tries to drag him to the ground he plants his hand and recovers. The chase down and sack in the back half of this play are special. You cannot teach someone to have a motor like that. Play number three shows his power. When he needs to put his hands on a lineman and drive them back into the quarterback, he has that ability as well. The last play is a simple speed rush, but I cannot stress how often Quinn does this successfully. This play is over from the start. When an offensive tackle instantly turns his back and starts chasing an edge rusher from behind, they hear about it watching the post-game film.

Some of you may have already seen this graphic. Robert Quinn was the most efficient edge rusher in terms of pass rush win rate in 2019. 33% of the time Quinn beat his blocker in under 2.5 seconds. This is especially important because opposing offenses always try to get the ball out fast against the Bears to negate their pass rush. The next most effect pass rusher was T.J. Watt, with 28%. Quinn was also very efficient at rushing the pass against double teams. Usually, the extra help is focused on Mack, but if Quinn continues to dominate single blocks, then teams will have to choose between the two. Pick your poison would be a good cliche to describe the situation for opposing offenses. Mack and Quinn are enough to deal with, but then you sprinkle in a little Akiem Hicks and it honestly seems unfair.

Robert Quinn’s presence should have a rippling effect on the defense. He will open up passing lanes for other players, which will force quarterbacks to make quicker decisions and throw off-platform. This will lead to more bad throws and interceptions. His relentlessness in getting to the quarterback will show up on tape every single week. In 2018 the Bears recorded 50 sacks, and in 2019 that number fell to 32. The addition of Robert Quinn will help the Bears pass rush get back to its 2018 form.


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