Kyle Fuller in for Dez-zy Night


Kyle Fuller was a highly touted defensive back when he was scouted at Virginia Tech. It was the age and injury concerns in the Chicago secondary that prompted the Bears front office into drafting him with the 14th overall pick this past May. When the Bears defense lost Charles Tillman to a triceps injury in week two Fuller entered the game in San Francisco and caught two Colin Kaepernick interceptions.

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The next week, on Monday night, in New York, against the Jets and in his first NFL start he caught another. He hasn’t caught another interception since that hot start to his career. Interceptions aren’t the easiest thing to come by, but it’s not as if he isn’t involved out there.

One of the best parts of his scouting report coming into the draft was his ability to make plays in the open field. His good feat and quick reactions are what set him apart from others at his position.

His weakness was outlined clearly on Thanksgiving in Detroit. Calvin Johnson is not a guy many corners and safeties have a tremendous amount of success against. Walks in a rookie, highly touted or not who has never  been across the field from such a monstrous talent. Expectations are what drive this game. Expectations shouldn’t have been that high.

Johnson ended up with 11 catches on 16 targets finding the end zone twice. It wasn’t the kind of game Fuller is going to put down on his resume. This week, on another Thursday night game he will be asked to perform a nearly as impossible task in guarding Dallas Cowboy wide receiver, Dez Bryant.

Bryant is performing at a career level. His pace for yards and receptions are both on their way to career bests. Chicago DC Mel Tucker is going to ask a lot out of his rookie again this week. Enough to have him running all over the field. We are going to find out early what kind of professional Fuller is going to be. The kind of player we can rely on improving year after year or just another one those so-so guys that barely helps keep the Bears in the middle of the league.

There is little to grab onto as a Bears fan these days. Playoffs hopes are all but gone, not too mention the insufferable play on offense that doesn’t appear to be approving anytime soon. It’s OK to relish in our youth. If you focus on one aspect Thursday night while watching the game keep your eye on Fuller, number 23 in the Chicago secondary.

There’s a lot of responsibility dawning that number in this town. Let him prove he deserves it out on the field. If he bends and folds under the pressure this fan base will make sure he hears about it. If he rises to the occasion, if he makes a play or two even in a loss they will also take reservation that maybe, just maybe there is a silver lining here.