Preston: Adrian Amos returns home having re-emerged as a force at safety for Bears

Kyle Fuller and Adrian Amos are both having homecoming parties this weekend, but Amos will have the biggest celebration.

Amos, out of Calvert Hall, is a starting safety for the Chicago Bears, who play the Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Fuller is a reserve cornerback for the Bears.

But Amos has given out more tickets than Fuller, a Mount Saint Joseph graduate. The last count was about 40.

“We have talked and laughed about the situation,” Amos, 24, said. “It’s two guys who competed against each other and now we’re on the same team. It’s cool and good for Baltimore. In the past people didn’t always see the talent in Baltimore, but hopefully more kids will get an opportunity to advance to another level.”

Amos, in his third NFL season, has stepped in and played well. He had eight tackles in each of the past two games and delivered a “Monday Night Football” highlight by crushing Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon after a swing pass.

“With Kyle, he has had three other brothers who have been in the NFL, so he has had time to spread the tickets around. For me, this has always been a dream and it’s about to happen. I grew up on Ravens football; that was the first football I watched with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis.”

Amos has played at M&T Bank Stadium before. At Calvert Hall, he was in three Turkey Bowl games on Thanksgiving Day against Loyola Blakefield. But the guest list has grown since then to include more cousins and uncles.

The timing couldn’t have been better. Amos had lost his starting job to veteran Quintin Demps during training camp, but Demps fractured his left arm in the Bears’ third game of the season.

“Not bad,” Bears coach John Fox said in evaluating Amos’ performance Monday night. “I think there was a seam route that he would like to have back. He had an opportunity to get an interception, but he had some good hits. I think he had a [pass breakup]. I was, for the most part, pleased with how our whole defense played, including Adrian.”

Amos, 6 feet, 214 pounds started all 16 games as a rookie out of Penn State in 2016 and finished with 67 tackles, one sack and mentions on various all-rookie teams.

He started 15 games last season and finished with 65 tackles, but wasn’t happy with his performance. Neither were the Bears, which is why they signed Demps during the offseason.

“I didn’t read too much into who they were bringing in,” Amos said. “The coaching staff wanted to try something new. Just about every player who has been in this league runs into a situation like that. My only concern is about the things you can control. I was still going to compete and put good things on tape.

“I thought after the strong rookie season I should have had a better second year, and this season I want to turn things around.”

According to Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis, that’s vintage Amos. Before enrolling, Amos played almost every position for Overlea’s recreation team. He became interested in Calvert Hall driving by the school on the way to Towson mall.

He came to Calvert Hall standing 5 feet 4 and weighing about 135 pounds.

“People forget how small he was because now they see the Incredible Hulk,” Davis said. “He was a great player, a great student here who went about his business and led by example. He did things the right way. I used to tell all the recruiters that they’ve checked all the boxes with Adrian.

“He is a tremendously humble individual. After signing on national signing day, he was back in the weight room the same day. Within minutes of learning that he was going to live out his dream and become a NFL player he was trying to get back home on a plane to watch his sister in a play. That’s his character.”

Amos seems to be one of those self-made players. He started at Penn State for three years and made the switch from cornerback to cornerback-safety during his senior season. He had no idea what position he was going to play in the NFL but was moved to safety for the Senior Bowl.

Drafted in the fifth round, he was hardly guaranteed a roster spot, but he proved to be a thumper who has an impact near the line of scrimmage, and this week in particular his skills could be pivotal. The Ravens are No. 6 in the NFL in rushing, averaging 130.4 yards, and last week they finally threw long on several occasions.

Amos won’t comment on how he has played in the past two games, but said he expects a challenge Sunday.

“Ever since I’ve been here we’ve played pretty good defense but we can’t take credit for anything because we don’t win,” Amos said. “My focus is to help us win more games and to do that I have to make more plays. We have to build as a team.”

“The Ravens have a big-arm quarterback and they make big plays. They have a lot of speed at wide receiver with a good scheme, and they have excellent technique. It’s going to be a tough game, but all games are tough in this league.”

mike.preston@baltsun.com

twitter.com/MikePrestonSun

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