(CBS) The Bears finished the 2016 season with just eight interceptions, an alarming mark for any team. Entering this offseason, general manager Ryan Pace made it clear that he was seeking upgrades in the secondary to force turnovers.
Pace’s plan started by signing safety Quintin Demps to a three-year deal Thursday, the first day of the new league year. In Demps, the Bears have added a safety coming off a career year in which he posted six interceptions.
The Bears are hoping Demps can change their fortunes in the turnover ratio, which finished at minus-20 last season. Demps is eager for his chance in Chicago, as he told the Mully & Hanley Show on Monday.
“It was more so just the warmth, the respect they were giving me, things like that,” Demps said. “They were saying everything I was looking for from a team. That was the biggest thing for me. You got to go somewhere where somebody wants you and respects what you bring to the table.”
Demps, 31, comes to the Bears after two years as starting safety for the Texans. His six interceptions came in 13 games.
So how did Demps post a career year in picks?
“There’s no formula,” Demps said. “You got to catch the ones they throw to you. Honestly, you got to do your job and let it come to you. You can’t force it. They come in bunches, though. It’s one of those things, you got to wait for it to come to you.”
Demps also prides himself on the ability in the run game. He feels he’s able to play aggressively in the box and attack as a rusher is approaching.
Demps views himself as a heavy hitter.
“I want to hit them in the mouth,” he said. “I get paid to be aggressive. There’s no better feeling. I want to make sure I get them down for sure, but if I can put a little power clean into them, I’ll do that as well.”
The Bears also addressed needs in the secondary by signing cornerbacks Marcus Cooper and Prince Amukamara and re-signing Johnthan Banks. Their early run through free agency also brought in quarterback Mike Glennon, receivers Kendall Wright and Markus Wheaton, tight end Dion Sims and tackle Tom Compton.