Cleaning Up His Act: Jaquan Brisker Says He Can Do More
By Gene Chamberlain,2023-06-08
Avoiding injury is the hope of all NFL players.
Jaquan Brisker took the other route as a Bears rookie, although these weren't season-enders. Now he wants to clean up what he perceives as shoddy production resulting from a few ill-timed setbacks suffered last year.
"I feel like last year, in the beginning, I felt like I was ahead of the game until I messed up my thumb," Brisker said. "I had to come back and get all that back. And I started kicking it up again and then when I got a concussion, that kind of was a little setback there.
"I felt like last year I should have, I felt like I could have been more involved in the defense and things like that. This year I feel a lot more comfortable with the coaches, with the defense with the players. I feel like myself. I feel like it’s going to be a way different year than it was last year."
"They should use me. Like use me, like a lot. Like a bar of soap. Like literally, like Dove."
-Bears safety Jaquan Brisker
The broken right thumb he suffered in preseason didn't keep him from playing but definitely limited his effectiveness because he was practicing and playing with protection on it. Then he suffered a concussion against Atlanta in Week 11 and missed two games.
That one really seemed to set him back.
"Because I, just, I had lost myself for a little bit, because when you have a concussion you really just got to sit in the dark the whole day and things like that," he said. "So really wasn't being around my teammates, wasn't the same energy guy.
"I had to get back my mental(ly) and had to get back to myself. So that was huge. I had lost my routine and all types of things. Just getting past that and moving on from that, I felt like I'm good now."
Brisker said at the end of last season he felt because of limitations he had from missing time with injuries, the team didn't use him enough in different ways within the defensive scheme.
He still led the team in sacks with four despite being a safety, which doesn't say much for the rest of the pass rush. Brisker had a solid 56.3% completion percent allowed when he was targeted last year, according to Sportradar.
Now he wants to see better production resulting from being used in new and different ways.
"Yeah, just playing both sides, playing free safety, strong safety, just being moved around, being involved, playing low, playing high," he said. "Getting more blitzes, getting my name called more, things like that that I've been doing all my life. Nothing should change.
"They should use me. Like use me, like a lot. Like a bar of soap. Like literally, like Dove. Like use me. You know what I mean? Like literally."
With Brisker washing away the memories of last year's disappointment, he's hoping defensive coordinator Alan Williams lets him help lead the defense to more takeaways and bigger things.
"Just move me around, let me help my teammates, let us help us win," Brisker said. "That's why I'm here. To win games, to go to the playoffs and win a Super Bowl."