Aaron Rodgers, Kyle Fuller

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Bears defensive back Kyle Fuller talk at midfield after Green Bay's 24-23 win over Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Kyle Fuller called it "trying to multitask," which is a nice way to explain away an addiction to a personal electronic device.

But the Bears cornerback may have a better excuse — and more concrete evidence of the benefits — than the average person endlessly scrolling on a mobile phone.

Fuller's study of game film during free moments has included pulling out his team-issued iPad during a players dinner at RPM Italian, outside linebacker Khalil Mack said. Fuller didn't deny it.

"I don't have anything else to do, so when I'm eating, I'll just bring my iPad with me," Fuller said. "I'll watch it if I go out to eat sometimes or if I'm in the hot tub or in a meeting or at home on the couch, wherever."

A lot has gone into Fuller's two-month surge that has resulted in seven interceptions and 18 passes defensed over the last nine games and has him tied with Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard for the NFL lead in picks. But defensive backs coach Ed Donatell last week pointed first to Fuller's preparation, because he "painfully studies people."

That has helped Fuller total 41 pass breakups over the last two seasons, more than anybody else in the NFL and three ahead of Lions cornerback Darius Slay, according to the Bears.

He has an interception in three straight games, including a third-quarter pick against Rams quarterback Jared Goff on Sunday. Immediately after Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw an interception, Fuller leaped in front of Rams wide receiver Josh Reynolds to grab the football and swing the momentum back in the Bears' favor.

It's the type of play that has made Fuller a strong candidate to make his first Pro Bowl in his fifth season, and his first since the Bears matched the Packers' four-year, $56 million offer sheet in the offseason to bring back their 2014 first-round pick.

"No. 1, he looks very comfortable in what they're asking him to do," Packers interim head coach Joe Philbin said on a conference call with Chicago reporters Wednesday. "No. 2, he's a really, really good athlete. He's got some instincts and some awareness that have helped him really be a very, very productive player for them this year. . And he certainly is a confident guy. You can see that on film."

The Packers will face the player they almost brought to Green Bay on Sunday as they take on a Bears team looking to clinch its first NFC North title since 2010.

Fuller and the Bears defense don't have an easy task in trying to add to their interception total of 25 in 13 games.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers remarkably has thrown one interception all season - Sept. 30 against the Bills. Last week, he broke Tom Brady's NFL record streak of 358 consecutive pass attempts without a pick and extended it to 368.

"He's just making some good decisions, has some good accuracy," Fuller said. "But there are some where it's like, 'Oh, that could have been picked off.'"

That's a natural segue into the one that got away from Fuller this season.

Fuller knows quite well Rodgers would have two interceptions this season if he had held on to the ball that bounced off his chest and hands late in the fourth quarter against the Packers in Week 1. The interception very well could have sealed a Bears victory, but the Packers scored a touchdown on the drive to win 24-23.

When asked if he still thinks about that play, Fuller, who said he'll watch that game film a couple of times this week, shook it off.

"Not really," he said.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, considering his coaches have pointed to his growing confidence as one of the many reasons he has put together his current stretch.

Rodgers himself noted Fuller's confidence Wednesday, saying "he's trusting his instincts and making plays on the balls." He said he always had respect for him but has seen marked improvement this year, helped along by a fierce Bears pass rush.

"It's always good to see a guy come back (from a drop), but he hasn't come back by luck or happenstance," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said last week. "He has worked hard. He works hard mentally in preparation and on the field . and it's paid off."

If 2017 was Fuller's comeback season from a lost year due to injury, this season is the one in which he has shown he more consistently can make plays, especially over the last two months.

Donatell believes Fuller was driven by a desire to make good on the Bears' financial commitment to him, but Fuller characterized his drive as the need to "try to be the best player I can be." He thinks his preparation has helped him make strides toward that.

"So far this year, it's more interceptions, being in position, being able to capitalize a bit more," Fuller said. "There were a couple last year I thought I was in position and didn't come up with the pick. I'm just playing more consistently each game, each week, learning and getting better."

Even if it means trading in pleasant dinner conversation for a study session.

Bucky!

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