BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – When the Bears signed former Arizona Cardinals All-Pro safety Adrian Wilson last month, few expected the five-time Pro Bowl strong safety to languish on the depth chart for long, regardless of the team signing several safeties in the offseason and drafting Brock Vereen.
It has taken Wilson less than a week to be working with the No. 1 defense.
Wilson took most of the snaps at strong safety on Friday, the job previously held by offseason-signee Ryan Mundy. Coaches continue to caution against reading too much into who plays where right now, but Wilson, who missed all of last year with a bone problem on his foot, has moved up the depth chart even without the benefit of preseason games, which will allow him to actually hit people, his forte.
“The rationale is it’s an open competition, we’re going to move people around, and you’re going to see that throughout training camp and the exhibition season,” said coach Marc Trestman. “I think what Adrian has done, he’s kind of worked himself back into playing football, and we’ve kind of just stood back and allowed him to acclimate himself on not only what’s going on in the classroom, but let him get his feet underneath him on the field.
“And he continues to get a little better each and every day, and Mel [Tucker, defensive coordinator] and Chris [Harris, safeties coach] and John [Hoke, secondary coach] felt it was time to move him up there and get a day’s practice. We’ll look at the tape — I couldn’t comment on it — but we’ll look at the tape and see how he did and continue to move people around.”
Wilson worked alongside Danny McCray, who moved in ahead of Vereen at the free safety spot three days ago.