As we talked about in the last article regarding new GM Ryan Poles, there is a good chance new head coach Matt Eberflus may reach into his prior connections hoping to find help for his new team. Players he has coached or coached against. The obvious team to watch in this situation is the Indianapolis Colts, especially as they’ve installed a brand new defensive coordinator in Gus Bradley. Someone that may not run the same scheme Eberflus did.
The Colts have 23 pending free agents set to hit the 2022 market next month. As of right now, 12 of them are on the defensive side. Al-Quadin Muhammad might make sense after posting a career-high six sacks last season, but it feels like Indianapolis will prioritize keeping him. Veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes is another possibility, as is safety George Odum. When examining the options though, the name that sticks out the most is Kemoko Turay.
Kemoko Turay (@Kturay_58) goes stab/club to a counter swipe. Throws a small rip to clear & get the sack. Have a pass rush plan & a “plan b” #passrush #colts pic.twitter.com/Ep139g4NDx
— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) December 7, 2021
Kwity Paye gets the sack fumble, but check out Kemoko Turay as he executes a stab/double swipe & finishes with a rip. Great job by @Kturay_58! #passrush #colts #indvsdet pic.twitter.com/6D7QFKR1v3
— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) August 27, 2021
The former 2nd round pick is in a somewhat unusual spot.
Despite posting a career-high 5.5 sacks last season, it feels like his status on the team is anything but certain. He only logged 173 total pass rush snaps in 13 games. A groin injury that hounded him much of the season was part of the issue. So for him to still produce as a designated pass rusher is pretty impressive. Eberflus has said he values toughness in his players. This is part of what he’s talking about.
The truth is Turay has battled injuries for years. His best role in the NFL is a rotational pass rusher by default. It is the only way to get the most out of him while keeping the health risks at a minimum. The Bears will need somebody like that in the near future as they transition to Eberflus’ new defensive scheme.
Matt Eberflus needs depth at defensive end
There is no question that Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn will form the Bears’ starting duo on the edges going into next season. Both are familiar with playing 4-3 defensive end. It shouldn’t be a difficult transition. That said, the depth behind them is another issue. Trevis Gipson spent two years remaking his body to play 3-4 outside linebacker. So his fit is questionable. Jeremiah Attaochu is coming off a major injury and has always been an outside linebacker. He is a candidate to get cut.
That leaves the depth behind Mack and Quinn thinner than anybody would like. Especially with Mack recovering from foot surgery and both men being in their 30s. Adding Turay to the mix would give them some much-needed flexibility and a little extra juice to the pass rush in general. He is still just 26-years old and not expected to cost an exorbitant amount of money to acquire.
Reuniting with Matt Eberflus would hopefully make it more appealing to him.
It will come down to where Poles focuses his priorities on the free agent market. He promised to be selective. If Turay gets action in those first few days, it probably isn’t likely he’ll end up in Chicago.
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