- With the torn biceps injury to backup guard Eric Kush, Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune says that the Bears have apparently been trying different line combinations in left guard Kyle Long’s absence. One involved moving center Cody Whitehair to guard.
“That’s the thing I’m trying to work on,” Whitehair said, “Being able to play every inside position, just in case we do have injuries.”
Versatility is nice but shuffling guys like Long and Whitehair from position to position keeps them from stabilizing one spot and becoming the best that they can be. I’d much rather see Whitehair, who was developing rapidly last year, stay where he’s at and become a Pro Bowl center.
- Another option according to Campbell is to put swing tackle Tom Compton at guard.
Brad Biggs, also at the Tribune, thinks the Bears will be looking to pick up a back up guard after final cuts are made but what’s wrong with rookie guard Jordan Morgan? Morgan, a fifth round draft pick, was listed as fifth (or sixth) on the depth chart at guard this week behind Will Poehls and Cyril Richardson. Not good.
Are the Bears really reduced to moving Whitehair or using a tackle at backup guard before the season has even begun?
- On a related note, we had this Biggs question about the situation:
With the loss of Eric Kush on the O-line, how does that affect Taylor Boggs‘ chances of making the roster? — @seanquincey
Boggs was out with a concussion but returned to action quickly, so that was a positive sign. He has the ability to play center and guard and the loss of Kush certainly improves his chances. He’s got previous experience with offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn as they were in Detroit at the same time. My guess is it could be a bit of an uphill battle for Boggs but he’s in the mix. He’s a smart player and offers a little bit of versatility.
Similar to the situation with Morgan, the fact that they’d rather put Compton in at guard with Kush gone and Long out tells you everything you need know about what they think about Boggs. He’s not good enough to back up Long at guard and former third rounder Hronis Grasu is most likely to get the nod at backup center. That leaves Boggs on the outside looking in.
- Biggs also addressed this question about the running back position.
How is the backfield shaping up behind Jordan Howard? — @thepallister
That’s a good question. Jeremy Langford has missed nearly all of training camp with a sprained right ankle suffered in a walk-through. Tarik Cohen has been exciting in Bourbonnais and I am interested to see how he performs in preseason. Ka’Deem Carey and Benny Cunningham are in the mix. It’s a little fuzzy how things are going to play out right now but Howard was electric last season and that’s a strength for the offense. Perhaps this is a position where the Bears could seek to add a player that gets cut loose by another team in a few weeks.
True enough but I’ve got a feeling that, once again against the odds, Carey sticks. Carey isn’t what you’d call dynamic but he’s a solid backup who contributes on special teams. It’s possible that Cunningham wins the return job and, if that’s the case, it may come down to a receiver or Carey. My gut tells me that with Cohen being a “joker back” with limited size and utility as a blocker, Carey gets the nod.
Langford is in deep trouble.
- I also wanted to highlight something one more thing that Biggs mentions. The Bears really need 2016 third round pick Jonathan Bullard to step up this year and Biggs wrote just about the first positive thing I’ve read about him when he said that Bullard “ has been much better in training camp” than last year. That’s encouraging and I’ll once again be looking forward to watching him tonight against the Broncos.
- I thought this comment from new quarterback Mike Glennon about the Bears receivers via Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic was interesting:
“I’d say it’s way deeper here [than in Tampa Bay],” said Glennon, whose Bucs had a clear No. 1 wideout in Mike Evans. “I mean there are guys here, I hate to say it that could be on a lot of different teams and make the team. So obviously realistically only 53 guys make the team and so that receiver number has to get cut down but I think it’s a very deep group, a lot of guys that are NFL-caliber players and I think we’ll just spread the ball out.”
Hmmmm… Sounds like Glennon has been drinking the navy and orange Kool Aid. I suppose “deep” might apply in a way because the scatter shot approach to the position this offseason led to there being a lot of bodies. But the Bears don’t have a proven number one receiver and I don’t think many competitive teams would want this group over their own.
- Despite getting a lot of preseason buz, its notable that rookie tight end Adam Shaheen was third on the depth chart behind Dion Sims and Zach Miller this week. Most figure the Bears might be ready to move on from Miller given his injury history but this certainly doesn’t reflect that thought.