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Bears' Quintin Demps 'On A Mission To Get Some Respect'

By Chris Emma--

(CBS) Quintin Demps cracked a smile, having heard multiple times during his introduction at Halas Hall about the Texans' tenacious front seven.

Pressure on quarterbacks was a constant during his time in Houston, which has included two stints there. He had heard about it many times before, and surely, after posting a career-best six interceptions last season, Demps would like his deserved credit too.

"You know, there's a such thing as coverage sacks, too," Demps joked.

Demps has the belief of the Bears, who signed him to a three-year deal on the first day of free agency. In major need of upgrades in the secondary, the Bears added a pair of new cornerbacks in Marcus Cooper and Prince Amukamara, but Demps was first to join the bunch. He became a priority for their defense.

Last season, Demps had those six picks in 13 games. The Bears had eight total interceptions as a team in 2016 and just 11 takeaways in all, the latter of which ranked dead last in the NFL.

Demps didn't become a full-time starter at safety until signing for a second stint with the Texans in 2015, after which he earned his place on one of the league's better defenses.

Taking away the football has come naturally for Demps, who has 15 interceptions in the past four seasons.

"You have to be patient," he said. "You have to be disciplined. You have to let it come to you, man. You can't go looking for it, you can't force it, because then you're going to give up something."

Bears general manager Ryan Pace realized the potential of Demps, even looking back to his time at UTEP. He saw a player making plays.

Demps is sound in the run game and opportune in coverage. Pace was eager to get him to Halas Hall.

"He's just always around the football," Pace said.

Age isn't a concern for the Bears, who see Demps at 31 performing without a hitch. Demps believes that age is just a number and that film shows that he's still 25. Ultimately, the Bears understand they're paying for future performance, not that of the past.

Demps has fewer miles than many his age after starting just the last two seasons of his nine-year NFL career. He insists that his body is well-maintained.

The Bears are hoping that Demps can deliver for a secondary that has taken a new direction. He will be relied on as the veteran with production to his name. Demps felt wanted by the Bears and believed that a turnaround could be in place.

Much of that starts in the secondary.

"For me, it was just more so feeling wanted and wanting to be a part of something where we have the potential to get better every week," Demps said of signing in Chicago. "I'm looking forward to it."

Demps leaves behind a Texans defense that consistently forced pressure on the quarterback. He joins a Bears defense that has a young front, including Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, Leonard Floyd and Pernell McPhee. Pressure has come, but not to the liking of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.

Perhaps it can be Demps forcing some coverage sacks for the Bears and helping their young defense grow. Maybe the interceptions will just come naturally.

Whatever the case may be, Demps wants his piece of the pie.

"I'm on a mission," he said, "to get some respect."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago's sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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