The Chicago Bears just added more weapons for the 2023 season. Their goal for next season is clear: they are looking to compete for the NFC North title. They've done a lot of work in the offseason to retool both their offense and defense. Recently, after expressing interest in beefing up their defensive line, they went and signed former Pro Bowl edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
After signing Ngakoue, a former coach for the Bears chimed in on the acquisition, per The Chicago Tribune. Rod Marinelli compared the new Chicago edge rusher to former All-Pro lineman Julius Peppers. Here's Marinelli's take on the matter.
“If you look at Julius and the size, you are shocked at the speed and how fast he runs and moves,” Marinelli said. “If you look at Yannick, you are going to be shocked at his power. It’s the same combination, it’s just opposite.”
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Marinelli knows what he's talking about, having coached both Yannick Ngakoue and Julius Peppers. That is incredibly high praise, though, considering Pepper's body of work. He earned multiple All-Pro honors in his career, two of which came with the Bears. Peppers' 37.5 sacks and ten forced fumbles are a high bar for Ngakoue to clear, but he has the physical tools to do just that.
Ngakoue first became known in the league as part of the Jacksonville Jaguars' “Sacksonville” era. While he has earned one Pro Bowl honor since then, Ngakoue has been quietly putting up numbers. Over the last two seasons, the edge rusher racked up ten and 9.5 sacks, both in different teams. The Bears are hoping that Ngakoue becomes the piece that solidifies this defense together.