Kyler Gordon plans to build off NFL preseason debut on road to stardom

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Bears rookie Gordon plans to build off debut on road to stardom originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

SEATTLE – Kyler Gordon remained on the field Thursday night long after his NFL preseason debut ended.

The Bears had secured a 27-11 victory over the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Gordon’s night ended in the second quarter after playing several series filled with good and bad moments. His teammates were all in the locker room dressing quickly for the trip back to Chicago. But Gordon, a Washington native, stayed out under the lights sharing once-in-a-lifetime moments with friends and family who came to see him realize his dream.

“It was extremely exciting,” Gordon said in the locker room about having so many friends and family members at Lumen Field for his debut. “It was super nice having everyone be there, supporting me. Just seeing my family up there, and my friends and everybody. I was really appreciative of that.”

It was a storybook moment for Gordon. He missed the Bears’ preseason opener due to a minor injury, but that allowed him to step into the NFL spotlight in front of those who have supported him every step of the way.

Gordon entered as the nickelback on the second defensive play of the game for the Bears. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams dialed up a slot blitz early on, and Gordon nearly got home for a sack that would have sent his cheering section into a frenzy.

The Washington product showed the instinct, coverage ability, and speed that have everyone in the Bears organization buzzing about his potential.

But it wasn’t a perfect debut for Gordon. They rarely are. The NFL game is played at a different speed. That, coupled with the raw nerves and juice that come with a seminal moment in your life, can lead to mistakes.

Last Saturday, Bears rookie Jaquan Brisker admitted to having “happy feet” early in his debut against the Chiefs, allowing Patrick Mahomes to read the Bears’ defense pre-snap based on his movements. But the safety settled in and gave the Bears a taste of what’s to come with a sterling debut.

Gordon felt those same debut jitters, only they were likely exacerbated by the stage on which he arrived.

“Yeah, for sure. I was telling everyone, I’m already like a super twitchy dude, and like when you get twitch and adrenaline, oh my God, I’m like double time on that,” Gordon said laughing. “My feet were like firing on that. I had to calm myself down. But I was fine. I enjoyed it.”

Gordon did miss a tackle on a 33-yard run by Seahawks running back Travis Homer. He also gave up a completion on a slant that was negated by an illegal use of hands penalty on Seattle.

But Gordon also helped force a fumble with a Peanut Punch (the official stat book gave Joe Thomas the forced fumble, but Matt Eberflus said it was Gordon). He also received a 90.9 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus, allowing just one catch for 12 yards on two targets.

Gordon’s debut didn’t come with the eye-opening moments of Brisker’s. That doesn’t mean it was a failure, far from it.

The Bears and Gordon view it as the first building block in his journey to stardom.

“The next one will get better and better and better,” Gordon said when asked if Thursday’s debut helped boost his confidence. “I’m just ready to stack days on days and games on games.”

That’s how you construct greatness. Meticulously, deliberately, and without any shortcuts. The belief around Halas Hall is that that’s the place Gordon is destined to reach.