- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Safety Ryan Mundy set career highs last year in tackles (108) and interceptions (four).
Too bad it happened on a Chicago Bears defense that ranked No. 30 in total yards and No. 31 in points allowed.
Mundy’s past accomplishments apparently don’t carry much weight. The Bears have used the opening five practices of camp to take a hard look at the safety combination of Brock Vereen and Antrel Rolle, with Mundy primarily working in a reserve role.
“I don’t always control the decisions that are made, but I can control how I respond to them,” Mundy said Monday. “I’ve been positive about it, uplifting my teammates, making sure they’re getting better. I’m getting better and we’re out here working hard.”
Mundy’s four interceptions in 2014 not only tied for the team lead, he finished tied for eighth in the league.
“Last year was last year and even though I had a good year, we sucked on defense last year so I don’t know if that cancels out or anything,” Mundy said. “I’m just moving forward. Excited about my opportunity here, excited about working with Vic Fangio, Ed Donatell and the rest of the coaches because if you look at their track record the last couple of years, pretty much every safety they have coached the last couple of years went to the Pro Bowl. Antoine Bethea, Eric Reid, Dashon Goldson, Donte Whitner -- all those guys have been to the Pro Bowl under their tutelage so if it happens for them, it should suddenly be able to happen for us here in Chicago.”
Plenty of time remains for Mundy to make up ground. Training camp is not even a week old, and with 30 career starts, Mundy holds the experience edge over Vereen, who started five games as a rookie last year.
“From my understanding, it’s an open competition. And this is training camp,” Mundy said. “There’s competition at every level of our defense, from the defensive line to the linebackers to the secondary. So I’m just trying to go out there and do my best day in and day out.”