Leonard Floyd Named As Break Out Pass Rusher For 2019
NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest named Leonard Floyd during his Breakout Pass Rushers for 2019 segment, on NFL Total Access. McGinest thinks that the aggressive defense Chuck Pagano's is bringing to Chicago will help Floyd reach a career-high 11 sacks. McGinest knows the Bears defensive line is full of game changers. He feels Floyd will get one on one match up's and take advantage of them. "He said his self that, I'm looking for a breakout year, and I'm betting on him," said McGinest.
Leonard Floyd has 15.5 sacks in his first three seasons. It's not an impressive total, but his sacks come in big moments. 9 of his career sacks are in division games, and 5.5 are against the Packers. McGinest's prediction of 11 sacks for Floyd seems like a bold one, but it's possible. As a rookie, Floyd had 7 sacks in 12 games. His biggest issue has been staying on the field. He's missed ten games in his three-year career. Last year Floyd fractured his hand and played through the injury wearing a cast. I won't question his toughness he's just had a string of bad luck. Leonard Floyd said, having a fully healthy offseason to train has helped him feel stronger. The Bears defense is slim at edge rusher, so they're hopeful Floyd stays healthy for all 16 games in 2019. If he does, the sky is the limit.
Last year Floyd was used in pass protection more than you would expect to see a traditional edge rusher. Former DC Vic Fangio loved Floyd's length and speed and saw it as a benefit in the passing game. Willie Mcginest thinks that Floyd will be used a lot differently in Pagano's defense. He will earn more opportunities to rush the passer, and because of space eaters like Hicks and Goldman, he will see one on one matchups regularly. Outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino talked about working on setups, counters, and finishing moves with Floyd. The Bears want to provide Floyd with every tool necessary to succeed. Monachino said Floyd was the most naturally gifted pass rusher he's ever coached. He went on to clarify that Mack is the best pass rusher, but when it comes to a natural skill set "94's got it."
Luckily the Bears have Floyd under contract for the next two years. If Floyd has a career year, he will be in line for a hefty payday, and it will be nearly impossible for the Bears to retain him after his contract is up. Floyd believes he played his best football at the end of last season and feels better than ever having a fully healthy offseason. If his numbers don't make a significant jump this season, the Chicago media will be all over it. Floyd should start fast considering the Bears play the Packers week one, and Floyd has made a habit of putting Aaron Rodgers on the ground. Unfortunately, we still have to wait 72 days to find out.