Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:
“It’s likely that only one backup interior offensive lineman will dress for game day. With that in mind, might Ted Larsen, Manny Ramirez, Hroniss Grasu (probably not him) or Cody Whitehair (certainly not him) not make the team?”
“Let’s see how this plays out. We’re not going to get a real clear picture of things on the offensive line until training camp when the pads go on. My bet is Larsen gets first crack at left guard and the Bears expect him to win that job. I think that leaves Whitehair to push Grasu for the starting job at center. I could be wrong. We’ll learn much more as camp unfolds.”
This is the first suggestion I’ve seen in the press that Whitehair was a serious consideration for center but I doubt anyone is terribly surprised. It’s been reported already that he was spending time after practice during rookie mini-camp snapping balls.
As Biggs says, its too early to say anything for certain. It was already a given that Grasu would be pushed by Ramirez. But if the Bears also used a second round pick to draft a player to compete with Grasu, I’d say Grasu’s starting job is in very serious jeopardy.
The guess here is that Whitehair would make a very good center, probably better than Grasu. Ramirez aside, the key will probably be for Grasu to prove that he’s a better center than Larsen is a guard, making him one of the best five linemen on the team. That’s going to be an uphill battle. At minimum, here’s hoping for Grasu’s sake that he’s not pushed around in the preseason again like he was last year.