“From a talent standpoint? Very, very similar,” Pagano said via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Great instincts. Great range. Great ball skills. He’s only three years into it. Ed has a lot more time on task, obviously. He’s got a lot of the same traits. He loves football. He’s a football junkie. And again, the sky’s the limit for a guy like that. . . .When you know the defense and you know what you’re doing and then you can spend all your time figuring out the offense and being one step ahead, that’s where he’s got an edge on everybody. He’s very similar to Reed.”
Bears safeties coach Sean Desai was a little more measured.
“He had a great year last year — but that was then,” Desai said. “He knows that. We’re going to challenge him in a way that we see, and he sees, the small areas he can improve. . . In this league, it’s about one step and one inch. If you can get him one step faster than he was last year, that could lead to more plays he can make. If you get him one inch closer, that can lead to more plays.”
“I think I’m as far along as I should be,” Stafford said via Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News. “There’s obviously a ton more to learn. Verbiage-wise, it’s completely different. … To be honest, having a new playbook is kind of helping. I’m sitting there going, ‘Man, it’s not old hat.’ It’s a bunch of new stuff. I think guys are doing a great job diving in and trying to learn.”
After flirting with the idea of moving to more of an edge role with the Jets, Vikings LB Anthony Barr will stay put at the same position in Minnesota.
“He’ll be a linebacker,” HC Mike Zimmer said via Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We’re doing a few different things defensively so you’ll get a chance to see how it looks, but we’re going to make a few changes with some of the things schematically just from our offseason study.”