Bears HC Matt Nagy says Roquan Smith has earned more playing time
Chicago Bears rookie linebacker Roquan Smith was limited to just eight defensive snaps Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. This was understandable since he was recently dealing with a hamstring injury shortly after returning from his contract dispute.
However, Bears head coach Matt Nagy says that a now-healthy Smith is ready to take on a bigger role on defense starting with their upcoming matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
“I think so, yeah,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “We go back to training camp, and you talk about where he was at, and he had that little deal with his hammy. We wanted to be kind of cautious with it and be smart. And I do feel with that time he’s had, he’s in a position to play more.”
Smith made quite an impact right off the bat as he recorded a sack on Aaron Rodgers in the very first snap of his career. While he’s not exactly known for his pass rushing prowess, that’s just a small taste of what he is capable of as a linebacker.
The Bears obviously believe in Smith’s ability, which was why they took him with the No. 8 overall pick. It’s taken a while for the team to see the true extent of his capabilities with his holdout coupled with his injury setback, but he’s finally going to get the chance to prove himself.
Week 2 should also see more of Khalil Mack, who was only limited to 70 percent of the snaps due to a lack of practice time. With Mack and Smith teaming up with the likes of Leonard Floyd, Danny Trevathan, and Akiem Hicks, the Bears will get a better sense of what their talented front seven can do.