September 21st, 2011
by bearsbacker

The first two weeks of the NFL season, Bears linebacker Nick Roach and nickelback D.J. Moore have been on my list of “Players Who Must Step Up” in my weekly game previews. They haven’t stepped up just yet.

Last week in New Orleans they both had opportunites to turn the game around, but they failed to take advantage of them.

Both, Roach and Moore have seven tackles on the season. Moore has two pass deflections, while Roach has one.

Playing aside Pro Bowlers, Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, you’d think Roach would get some turnovers through their play.

Roach has been steady so far, but he hasn’t been as good as he can be. In his first year penciled in as a starter, not much competition sits behind him. Competition is important for motivation, just look at the Bears defensive line, they have plenty of that.

He had his chance to make a play last Sunday against the Saints. In the third quarter, Roach had a chance at an interception, but it went through his hands. I’m sure in practice this week, the Bears saw that on film and are showing him how to fix that issue.

The instincts are there, but the hands and focus aren’t. Roach is one player the Bears would love to see step up on defense, it would make things that much easier for them.

Roach isn’t known for reeling in interceptions one bit, considering he’s had zero in his four seasons with the Bears. But nickelback D.J. Moore has been known for doing that as of late.

Moore reeled in four interceptions, returning one for a touchdown last season, after basically being redshirted his rookie season (2009).

He has confidence as a nickelback, despite being undersized at 5’9″. That confidence is still there, but he just simply isn’t making plays.

Through two weeks of play, not a single cornerback on the Bears has intercepted a pass. Last season Charles Tillman led all corners with five, Moore trailed him by only one with four and Tim Jennings had one.

Moore needs to rise to the occasion and make that big play the Bears are waiting to see out of him, if not he could be on the bench soon. Moore deflected a Drew Brees pass in the second half of last Sunday’s game that could have been intercepted, but he failed to do so.

Moore thrives off of the play of the linebackers. He’s constantly in position to make plays off of tipped passes playing with stars Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher.

Hopefully both Roach and Moore will take advantage of errant throws made by opposing quarterbacks sometime soon.

Who do you think the Bears need to step up more? D.J. Moore or Nick Roach?

For Bears news on Twitter, follow @Bearsbacker.

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