Q&A with Chicago Bears defensive tackle’s new varsity coach – The Denver Post

The Chicago Bears weren’t necessarily looking to double down on defensive tackle on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. That’s how it worked, and now they have a chance to rebuild the front with the young people from the inside.

The Bears selected South Carolina defensive tackle Zacch Pickens with the first Round 3 selection (No. 64), nine picks after selecting Florida’s Gervon Dexter. While it might sound redundant, veterans Justin Jones and Andrew Billings have one-year contracts and without future options in that position, the Bears would almost certainly have signed or drafted tackles next offseason.

Now there’s hope that Pickens and Dexter can grow side by side, much like what the Bears went through with Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson in the 2004 draft.

Pickens had a career-high 42 tackles for the Gamecocks last season with 2½ sacks, and his disruptive first step offers hope he can spur the inside pass rush.

Jimmy Lindsey, South Carolina’s defensive line coach for the past two seasons and now at LSU, spoke to the Tribune about Pickens’ development from a draft perspective. Here is that interview, edited for clarity.

Note: This is part of a series of conversations with the college post coaches of this year’s Bears draft picks.

How have you seen Zacch grow over the two seasons you’ve worked with him?

His football IQ has really increased enormously. He learned football. He learned blocking patterns. He could step aside and tell me what was going on, and when we watched the tape on Sunday, it was okay. He became a better fundamental football player by using his hands and working his way out of blocks.

Zacch received a few team accolades last season. He was a captain as well as the most notable of the seniors, the team MVP and the defensive MVP. What earned him honour?

He really grew up. It was pretty cool to watch him grow as a leader. What people are going to find out about Zacch is that he’s a great teammate and person. Every day he walked into our meeting room, he said, “How are you, Coach? How are you? Are you feeling well today? And he applauded just as loudly the passing guys who made plays as the scholarship guys.

Just a really good, selfless teammate and he did all the little things well off the pitch. You never had to worry about him being late for the building or missing a practice session or a tutor or a study room. I think that’s why his game the last two years has increased tremendously from the first two because he just lived off the pitch and was invested on the pitch. All this coincides with becoming a good player.

What kind of questions did NFL scouts have for you about Zacch?

Just what kind of kid he was. How did he operate? How did he learn? Things of this nature. What should he improve? What is it good for? Things like that. Zacch was a good student.

If a scout asked you which game tape he should throw in to see Zacch at his best, what would you say?

Kentucky (four tackles, one sack, one deflected pass). It was definitely the best he had been in our first six games.

What was he asked to do in your project?

We were several. He played a spread, but in our spread we always played primary and secondary spreads and we had threesome stuff. He played in the zero, the four, he played the shadow and the three. He has great job versatility. I think that will help him move forward.

Some people said he’s potentially at his best as a three-way technique in the NFL? How do you see him making his biggest impact as a pro?

He has the skills of a threesome technique because he has contractions. The Bears are in the field, so I think it will match Zacch’s skill set perfectly.


denverpost sports

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button