BIGGS ON GRASU
If Hroniss Grasu develops into a frontline center, the Bears may have a terrific offensive line in 2016. But Grasu would have to make a significant leap if that’s going to be the case. From Biggs in the Trib:
The statistics in the eight games Grasu started last season and the other eight games that were split between Slauson and Will Montgomery are similar with one glaring difference. I tallied the stats for Jay Cutler’s 15 starts, (excluding the dud of a performance in Seattle in Week 3 when Jimmy Clausen was at quarterback) and what jumps out is the Bears averaged 4.22 yards per carry with Slauson and Montgomery at center. With Grasu, they averaged 3.77, nearly a half-yard less.
If the Bears had a high level of confidence in Grasu, they wouldn’t have made three additions even while removing Slauson from the equation. When the season opens Sept. 11 in Houston, left tackle Charles Leno could be the only starter in a position he played for the team last season.
My favorite line in the piece? “One front-office guy said his team nearly drafted Whitehair about 20 picks before the Bears.” I maintain a firm belief that Whitehair is going to be a ten-year star at guard for the Bears.
JAHNS ON THE UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
Adam’s piece in the Sun-Times is a solidly comprehensive breakdown of all the UFAs but I’m sampling the one position they may have had been most focused on: tight end.
Harvard tight end Ben Braunecker: With the Bears in need of a tight end or two, Braunecker (6-3, 250 pounds) is a solid signing. He showed off his athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine, finishing among the leaders at his position in every category. He needs to prove himself against better competition, but he was a first-team All-Ivy League selection and caught 48 passes for 850 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
Wisconsin-Oshkosh tight end Joe Sommers: Sommers (6-3, 240 pounds) started 28 games and made 87 catches for 1,384 yards and seven touchdowns at Wisconsin-Oshkosh. After his senior season, Somners was named to the Division III All-America team. He also was a three-time first-team All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection.
- Adam Hoge of WGN sat down for an interview with first-round selection Leonard Floyd. Is it revealing? Not particularly. But it’s still worth a listen.
- Rich Campbell interviewed Deon Bush’s defensive backs coach at Miami and it was actually pretty damn interesting. Quick quote: “He’s very instinctive. He was inconsistent as a senior … but he plays so violent. And I don’t want to every compare anybody to Ronnie Lott, but he has that in him.”
- “That whole championship belt thing kinda gets on my nerves.” Tony Andracki at CSN Chicago samples an interview Lamarr Houston gave to ESPN. Aaron Rodgers was a primary target.