Gordon-Brisker bond can be start of something special for Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
LAKE FOREST – Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus sent a clear message with the first two draft picks of their Bears tenure. Now, they hope those two picks can create a bond that will create the foundation for this era of Bears football.
Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker are athletic, tenacious, high football IQ defenders who are starting point for Chicago’s new regime. The Washington and Penn State products entered Halas Hall this week for rookie minicamp and what they hope is the start of a long, successful partnership as foundational pieces of the next great Bears defense.
“I think as we build our relationship, I think it’ll definitely benefit us,” Gordon said Friday. “You know, we definitely talk about getting together and getting the playbook and pushing each other along. So, I think it’d be good for us to go back and forth with each other. I’m happy I got him on my side .”
Gordon and Brisker took their top-30 draft visits to Chicago and simultaneously selected nine picks apart in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. They enter the NFL as the hand-picked tone-setters for the “new Bears.”
They have the added benefit not only of starting their NFL journeys together but also of joining a franchise that is installing a brand-new defense under Eberflus. The Bears’ hope and belief are that Gordon and Brisker growing together will help them take hold early as foundational pieces, and flourish in the Chicago secondary cornerback Jaylon Johnson and safety Eddie Jackson.
“I do think there’s an advantage to that. Just because of the togetherness,” Eberflus said Friday. “They’re starting at the forward and working their way up. Those guys will have that special bond with each other, and they’re going to learn it as they go. They’re certainly both smart guys. They’re very intelligent , and they’re going to work together as they get through the defense.
“That’s going to be exciting to watch with those two guys.”
In many respects, Gordon and Brisker are opposites. One is a calm technician, the other an old-school hammer. Both know they are here for one reason – to bring tenacious defense back to Chicago.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Brisker said. “A new staff. A lot of new people and a lot of new faces. I think everybody wants to change this around, and that’s what they brought me here to (do) to change it around. I feel like me coming in with the new staff, a lot of new players, a lot of new people, it fits right.”
Both Brisker and Gordon will have an important place in this rebuild.
Gordon, who hails from a defensive back factory in Seattle, can play inside and outside for Eberflus and could form a lockdown corner tandem with Johnson if all goes according to plan. After being drafted by the Bears, Gordon was happy to see Poles and Eberflus tab Brisker with the following selection, giving him a DB brother to sharpen his iron alongside.
Brisker is a vocal leader who likes to play in the box but also has the versatility to play deep safety. The Penn State product has tried to mold his game after Sean Taylor, Ronnie Lott, and Ed Reed. Eberflus praised Brisker on Friday for his “quickness, instincts and striking ability,” all things that are imperative to be a successful, high-end NFL safety.
In the second round, Poles and Eberflus could have gone a different direction, opting to find a wide receiver or offensive line help for second-year quarterback Justin Fields. Instead, they stuck to their board and grabbed two defensive backs that fit the style of defense they want to play: Fast, aggressive, and opportunistic.
Gordon and Brisker are already working to push each other, and the Bears hope that bond is part of a decade-plus partnership in the Chicago secondary.