Rashaad Coward Move to Guard Shows the Right Kind of Thinking

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“Can you give us a little information about Rashaad Coward moving to guard? How often do things like this work out? I can’t think of any Bears moving positions like this in recent history. Curious what they saw in Coward. — @djjaco10

“When the Bears were strapped for offensive linemen in practice last season, they briefly moved Coward to the other side of the ball. He caught the attention of the organization at that point. There was discussion during the offseason about what to do with the undrafted player from Old Dominion, who appeared in one game for the Bears as a rookie. Should they allow him to compete at nose guard as a potential role player behind {Eddie Goldman} or give him a shot with a position switch? The decision was made to flip him to guard. It’s certainly interesting, given his 6-foot-5, 320-pound frame and his ability to move. There’s no question it will take some time, and position switches for undrafted players are long shots. Let’s be realistic: The odds already are stacked against undrafted players. The Bears liked the way Coward worked last season, though. A similar transition worked for the team with former defensive tackle-turned-right tackle James “Big Cat” Williams — although that was a quarter-century ago.”

This move caught my eye as well and I consider it to be a good sign.

I’m not a big fan of the this head coaching hire. Head coach Matt Nagy was an offensive coordinator for only two years and he’s called plays for only a half of a season. He’s never installed an offense.

But one thing a new head coach brings, especially a young one, is new ideas and (slightly) outside the box thinking. This is an example of that. Need a left guard? Don’t necessarily think the guy you have can do the job of that you’ll get a good draft pick? Why not look at the players at other positions and see who you can try?

Coward has the right body type and he won’t need to be as athletic at guard as he would have at defensive tackle. He wasn’t going to start there and you really aren’t losing that much defensively. On the other hand, if the team is very lucky, he might at guard.

I like it. I like it a lot.

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