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Eddie Jackson raves about new position coach | Quick Hits

Bears safety Eddie Jackson, safeties coach Andre Curtis
Bears safety Eddie Jackson, safeties coach Andre Curtis

Eddie Jackson couldn't be more impressed with his new position coach.

Andre Curtis was hired as Bears safeties coach this year after spending the past 16 seasons as an NFL assistant, including the last seven with the Seahawks.

"He's one of the best coaches that I have had in my career, the things that he teaches us," said Jackson, a 2017 fourth-round pick who's entering his sixth season with the Bears. "He's very smart. His football IQ is through the roof."

During Curtis' tenure in Seattle as safeties coach (2015-16), defensive backs coach (2017) and defensive passing game coordinator (2018-21), six of his players combined to make nine trips to the Pro Bowl. That group included three members of the "Legion of Boom:" Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas.

Curtis has liked what he's seen from Jackson, especially in terms of his instincts.

"His anticipation is pretty good," Curtis said. "Some people can play football. Some people can see and learn football. Those people can feel stuff as the game goes on, and that's what he has. He does a really good job with that."

Jackson told reporters this week that one thing he really likes about the new defense that should help accentuate his strengths is "being free."

"When I say free, I mean as in more as a free safety role, being a guy that's roaming in the box," Jackson said. "I was down in the box a lot last year. Trust me, I love it. I love playing down in the box, too, but I just love getting the ball, getting interceptions, scoring touchdowns, those types of things."

“He’s one of the best coaches that I have had in my career … His football IQ is through the roof.” Bears safety Eddie Jackson on safeties coach Andre Curtis

Fire burning: Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad is a lock to make the Bears' 53-man roster. But the sixth-year pro wasn't always an established NFL veteran. Selected by the Saints in the sixth round of the 2017 draft, he empathizes with some of his young teammates with final cuts due by 3 p.m. (CT) Tuesday.

Muhammad made the Saints' roster as a rookie and appeared in four games. But a year later, he was waived as part of final cuts. Claimed by the Colts, he eventually blossomed into a full-time starter with Indianapolis, establishing career highs with 48 tackles and 6.0 sacks last season.

Asked about his humbling beginnings in the NFL, Muhammad said: "I definitely think about it. To get to this point where I'm at right now, I always think about it to, I wouldn't say motivate myself, but just keep that burning in the back of my mind that it's never over and every day it's like an interview."

Awesome addition: Veteran defensive tackle Trevon Coley, who signed with the Bears Aug. 5, has recorded a team-leading three sacks in the first two preseason games.

"He's fit right in and picked up the scheme really fast," said defensive line coach Travis Smith. "He's kind of been thrown into a few different roles and even played a rep at defensive end for us. Production speaks for itself. He's been able to win one-on-ones in pass rush, he plays really hard, he runs to the ball. He's been awesome, an awesome addition to the room."

Coley has appeared in 44 NFL games with 31 starts over four seasons with the Browns (2017-18), Colts (2019) and Cardinals (2020), registering 100 tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks. He missed all of last season with a foot injury he sustained in the preseason while playing for the Titans.

Impressive traits: Expectations are high for linebacker Nicholas Morrow, who signed with the Bears this year after spending his first five NFL seasons with the Raiders.

Morrow, who missed all of the 2021 campaign due to an ankle injury, appealed to the Bears because of his speed, instincts and intelligence.

"Nick can flourish because he's smart and he can run, [and] he plays physical," said linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi. "When you get those three things, when you can run and you're smart and you're physical, any player—whether it's a linebacker, defensive lineman or safety—has a chance to be successful."

Take a look at the best photos taken throughout Enjoy Illinois Training Camp, including the Meijer Family Fest practice at Soldier Field, as chosen by Bears photographers.

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