The Chicago Bears are trying out a lot of new things this year. The Bears overhauled their defense in the offseason. The offense has progressed rapidly from a conservative, bland scheme to one of the most explosive units in the NFL in the past month. Recently, the Bears made a former basketball player turned NFL tight end into a defensive player.
Sammis Reyes played basketball in college. The Chilean athlete transitioned to learning the tight-end position as he took part in the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. Reyes played with the Washington Football Team last season. He played in 11 games with Washington. Reyes joined the Bears practice squad in October.
According to a report by Brad Biggs with the Chicago Tribune, Reyes is transitioning once again as an athlete. The Bears are trying him out on the defensive line.
He was signed to the developmental squad Oct. 18 and spent the first three weeks at tight end before switching to defense and playing end last week…
At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, he certainly has the frame to be an edge rusher, but except for a week during preseason practice in high school, he never has played defense.
“We’ll take this week to see how everything goes,” Reyes said. “We’ll have a conversation next week. I’m having fun with it. I’m enjoying it. I am trusting Coach (Matt Eberflus). He knows what he’s doing. I’m putting my head down and working — whatever they want me to do.
“I’ve played it for a couple days, but defensive end feels like me.”
The Chicago Bears need help on the defensive line
It’ll be interesting to see how Reyes can progress at the defensive line position with the Bears. The defensive line has been a major complaint for most of the season. The unit has failed to get much pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
They could also do better filling gaps in run defense. Reyes should get a shot to play this season, as the Chicago Bears’ playoff hopes are practically over before Week 11. It couldn’t hurt to elevate him for a few weeks to see what he can do on the defensive line. At the very least, Reyes can contribute to special teams.