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Postseason Positional Analysis Part V: Offensive Line

| January 14th, 2016

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This is, by far, the hardest position group to evaluate within an organization because it is not only an evaluation of individual performance but also of the collective whole.

THE GUARANTEES

  • Kyle Long is playing somewhere along the offensive line in 2016, most likely where he played the 2015 season. While the world has panicked at Long’s struggles at times this season, the organization – and more importantly the player – have not. Long will be on the Bears for the foreseeable future.
  • Matt Slauson would rank just behind Jay Cutler as my Bears MVP for 2015. Slauson excelled at two positions, rescuing the Bears from multiple moments of desperation at center. His versatility is developing into his finest asset as the former Jet can now line up at three positions along the line.

COMING BACK

  • Hroniss Grasu will most likely be the starting center in 2016 after the Bears put him through an extensive offseason of work. He needs to get bigger. He needs to get stronger. And it will be one of the major priorities for the offensive coaching staff this spring and summer.

  • Charles Leno Jr. received praise at the Pace/Fox postseason press conference so there is no reason to believe the organization wouldn’t be comfortable with him returning at left tackle in 2016. But Leno’s left tackle, while above average in 2015, is a position the Bears can upgrade. If the Bears identify an elite tackle at the eleventh pick in the draft, nobody would question their making that selection.

SHOULD COME BACK/DEPTH

  • Will Montgomery was adding fight and grit to the offensive line before succumbing to a season-ending injury after only four games. Montgomery returning on a one-year deal would make a lot of sense for an offense determined to run the ball down the throats of opponents.
  • Patrick Omameh can play both guard positions, with varying degrees of success, and will still only be twenty-six years old come the start of the 2016 season. Is he a necessity next season? Of course not. Does he provide valuable depth? Absolutely.
  • Tayo Fabuluje is an interesting guy and a player, from all reports, the Bears like. Where does he fit? Who the hell knows? But clues should start trickling in come the start of the offseason program.

ADIOS!

  • Vlad Ducasse can’t play. Never could. And every snap he played for the Bears at guard in 2015 hindered long-term development at the position.
  • Jermon Bushrod may have a bit of gas in the tank but not for the price the Bears would have to pay in 2016. If Bushrod’s career continues it’ll be on a one-year deal for a team looking for a final piece along the offensive line.

NEW BLOOD

They need a guard and can upgrade at tackle.

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  • AlbertInTucson

    Thursday, January 14th, 2015 and I’m STILL not a billionaire?

    • willbest

      In billionaire news Nicky Hilton Rothschild is pregnant and will be expecting the newest member of the illuminati this year

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        i down voted that just because you know it.

      • The GP

        Is Urlacher the father? It may explain his synthetic banker hair.

      • Johnnywad

        That’s a real person? If I needed a female villain for an episode of Scooby Doo I was writing, that’s what I’d name her.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I thought to marry into the Rothschild’s 700 trillion dollars you had to BE a Rothschild. I guess the Hilton’s paltry billion dollars gets you in. James is roughing it ….

      • Irish Sweetness

        Ever hear of the Bullingdon club? The most exclusive toffs club in Britain for the wealthy and influential members of Oxford U. Britain’s prime minister was the class of ’87 I think.

        Nat Rothschild was ’93 (below).

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEvS_QuWIAAXyru.jpg

        They made a movie based on the club last year, The Riot Club, which is not a feel good movie. Rather disdainful of the poor, shall we say. And by poor I mean you know how much you’re worth to the nearest million.

      • MB30SD

        jesus. On their family crest it reads:

        “perpetuating vapid, vacuous, useless buffoons into the future!”

        Brutal

        (that said, these people create their own economies with all the people/things/services they use. I know this from, ahem, experience.)

    • Shady

      2016, but who’s counting?

      • AlbertInTucson

        I wasn’t one in EITHER year.

        Damn, again!

    • CanadaBear

      MIssed it by that much (said in a Don Adams voice).

      • AlbertInTucson

        It’s even funnier when you can see “Agent 86” saying it while leaning out of an open window.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Sure it wasn’t Tennessee Tuxedo’s voice?

    • BillW

      I’m glad it’s over. But it will probably be back near 500 million pretty soon. Way too many number combinations. I guess it’s brilliant marketing to tweak it so the jackpots are so enormous. They may as well go all the way with numbers from 00 to 99 for each including the Powerball. Then the jackpots will be multi-billion and won maybe once a year.

      • willbest

        People would stop playing it early and it would crawl all the way up and be of lower profitability. Keep in mind people are aware of that 1 in 300 million on an unconscious level even if you think they are complete idiots. The pot typically jumps by $10 million a draw until about $110, and then $15-20 million until ~$220, and then $20-30 million until about 330 at which point it gets nuts

        It took 16 draws to go from $40 million to 334 million. And then 3 draws to go from $334 million to 1.5 billion.

        There is also evidence to suggest that these massive pots have down stream affects on other lotto games and that there is a hangover period. So they aren’t so much generating more money as they are shifting it from other lottery purchases.

    • MB30SD

      me neither, reality sucks.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Come to think of it, I’m not even a MILLIONAIRE, yet?

        Double damn!

        • MB30SD

          I am on paper… might as well be of the toilet variety at this point.

          hahahahahahahaha… hahaha…. haha… ha… hee hee… hee… he… *sniff*

          • AlbertInTucson

            Not me. Not even the Toilet variety.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Gravity waves anyone?

    Lawrence Krauss, the greatest attention whore in Physics since Stephen Hawking … has just tweeted that an earlier rumor he started about the discovery of gravity waves has been CONFIRMED by some unknowns. Or not.

    I kid you not.

    http://www.wired.com/2016/01/astrophysicists-may-have-found-gravitational-waves-or-not/

    • SC Dave

      ‘ greatest attention whore in Physics since Stephen Hawking..’

      Instant classic.

      • MB30SD

        …and the name of the garage band I’m starting… just so that I can use that name for the garage band I’m starting.

        No, I can’t sing or play any instruments. That said, I think I have everything else it takes to be the lead in a rock band. Except the genetic predisposition to addictions to controlled substances.

        Hmmmmm… maybe I should rethink this whole thing.

        • SC Dave

          Haha… just wear tight leather pants and you’ll be okay.

          • MB30SD

            I do already. Ok, I don’t, but I kinda wanna. Red ones. Chicks dig leather pants.

    • AlbertInTucson

      What episode and which franchise of Star Trek is that from…?

    • The GP

      I loved Gravity Waves from Roger Waters. Good tune..

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVbjKOQenyc

      • Shady

        Buy the fucking dip. It won’t work unless everyone does it.

    • willbest

      I was about to correct you and say Neil Degrasse Tyson is the greatest attention whore in Physics, but then I realized he hasn’t done any actual science in 20+ years.

      • MB30SD

        oooooooooooh! buuuuuuuuurn!

      • SC Dave

        Da sizzle!

  • burntorangenavyblue

    Ugh, not sure if I’d want the Bears drafting an elite tackle at pick 11. We seriously need BPA on the defensive side. After watching the college championship, there are plenty of players on Bama as well as from Clemson that I would love to have that would make an immediate impact on this team.

    If the injury bug wasn’t so bad last season, the picture would have been much clearer to know what we truly need. However, we just seriously need that beast that wants to feast from the defensive side. There’s no GLARING holes on offense, but there surely is on defense.

    • willbest

      Depends on what we get in FA. We pick up whichever DL the jets don’t tag and somehow get Berry from the Chiefs we don’t necessarily need to spend round 1 on the defense.

      • Still could upgrade at ILB and CB, and can never roster enough pass rushers. (Plus we only have one true Dlineman in Goldman).
        We just have so many question marks on D, it’s hard to imagine us going O, but never know

    • That Guy

      If the next Joe Thomas or Orlando Pace or whatever is sitting there at #11, you draft him. You draft him and you tell everyone who tells you “we need _____” to shut up.

      The same is true at every position. If a young Jerry Rice is sitting there, or a young Walter Payton, whatever the position. If an “elite” player is there at any position, you draft him and figure the rest out later.

      But since we don’t have a crystal ball, if we’ve got an offensive and defensive prospect with the same score sitting at 11, I agree. We draft D.

      • burntorangenavyblue

        Maybe I am still bitter about the White situation. Ugh, how does a freak leg injury like that happen and gets overlooked? Bah

  • AlbertInTucson

    R.I.P. Alan Rickman (Die Hard “Hans Gruber”, Harry Potter’s “Snape” among many others)

    The big C claims him at 69. Same age as David Bowie.

    Too soon.

    • That Guy
      • That Guy

        I forgot about Galaxy Quest. He’s a classic.

        • MB30SD

          http://38.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_le0zo9IfWm1qcig1w.gif

          Galaxy quest… cult classic. He was awesome in that. Btw, is my hate of tim the tool irrational?

          • Shady

            How’s the garden of Eden looking these days? Perfectly quaffed, I would assume…

          • MB30SD

            I can take this a number of ways my maings. more color pleaz

          • Shady

            You know exactly what I’m talks about.

          • MB30SD

            Yes, I do.

            Just shot my entire stable and am starting over.

            I’m in the interviewing process. Open to all qualified prospects (over a 7.5). Have 5 dates in the next week. Should be a grueling process, but I’m up for it.

          • Cutty of Mt. Olivet Nazarene

            it’s like your personal Combine Week.

          • SC Dave

            Quaffed, or coiffed, he asks expectantly…

    • And don’t forget Dogma!

      • Scharfinator

        AND GALAXY QUEST

        Whoops, missed the post below.

  • That Guy

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/01/14/report-49ers-down-to-chip-kelly-or-mike-shanahan/

    I suspect Trent Baalke will be fired within the next 2 years.

    Chip Kelly might have the juice to make it work in San Fran, but that team just seems headed downhill fast.

    • That Guy

      Well that was fast. They hired him.

  • Sactowns#1

    Well gents we have 2x as much as our division rivals have to spend in FA. What are we gonna get for Christmas this year? My 2 requests are ILB (Von MIller oh please oh please oh please) and a DB. Seems like both those positions take some time to learn and we need immediate impact players. Lets spend draft picks on Dline and Oline.

    • The FA $ will come down a bit after a some contracts. Alshon,for one. At least 8m to 14m.
      Isn’t Long due? And RTs cost more than OGs
      Porter, Shea, Who knows?
      Some other dudes we got i
      On 1 yr loaners that will add up.
      Then again, maybe we can save a bit like w Bushrod, Bennett , Forte.

      Doubt Von Miller hits the market .
      Not sure if there’s any big names in FA this yr.
      Maybe Mario Williams?
      If i were to guess i think POX signs 2nd day guys, dudes like Jarvis Jenkins, Porter, Acho to continue to add depth and competition, but not necessarily day one starters

      • Johnnywad

        Shea will be either A.) Gone. Or B.) Free. So no cap casualty there.

        • Trac

          I don’t know how one play Shae keeps a roster spot.

          • MB30SD

            deez

      • willbest

        Long is a first rounder, Bears can pick up a 5th year option on him if they need to. If they bring Shea back it will be on vet min. Porter won’t be more than a couple. I believe Jenkins is also a FA but he shouldn’t be too bad. Bushrod is gone, he isn’t worth the $8+ million they are going to pay him. If Bennett goes that will be more cap space.

  • Scharfinator

    Kudos for cranking these out Jeff!

  • Ok. So I’m on a cell, so pardon my apparent tardness, but looking at some top DTs

    Mo Wilkerson ($)
    Malik Jackson ( perhaps more affordable)
    Damon ‘snacks’ Harrison ( run stuffer, but great one. Could keep ILBs clean)

    • At ILBs, more Donkeys.

      Brandon Marshall and Trevathon.

      Marshall will obviously be the hot name, but Trevathon is a total POX guy. Playyed behind Marshall much like McPhee played behind Suggs.
      Will be cheaper, and is only like 25

      • MB30SD

        they are both very good ILBs, I’d be stoked for either, but I suggest we reunite them in backwards colors and bring ’em BOTH in! BOOM!

        Shae to the McyD’s team on the mag mile

        • Trac

          I’ve been Jonesing for some stud LB’S ever since Briggs’ s ass got fat and Urlacher…ahem… stopped plugging holes.

        • At S have a few options too.

          Berry has been my fav since college, but i can’t see the Chiefs letting him go.

          Weddle and Tashaun Gipson (browns) would be more doable, for tree right price.

          Is rather splurge on dline/ ilb and pick up some one like Gipson.

          Boom

  • Trac

    My nieces husband is the chief engineer heading up the Blue Origin Project. My niece was an astronaut and now heads up P & D for Tyco’s Toy Division. Pretty cool stuff.

    https://www.blueorigin.com/

    I’m looking at you Irish. Hahaha.

    • AlbertInTucson

      JUST LIKE the rockets of the ’50’s & ’60s sci-fi films.

    • willbest

      Is your niece Vietnamese married to a Chinese guy? Cause if so, he is a high school friend of mine. You know what that would make us don’t you?

      • Trac

        No will, no Vietnamese in the family tree that I know of. Brothers from another mother?

  • AlbertInTucson

    Kiper’s inital Mock #1 for the Bears: ‘Bama ILB, Reggie Ragland.

    • That Guy

      I’ve seen that name associated with the Bears in a few mocks as well. Fills a need, solid player, no obvious problems. Will be interesting to see how the offseason work looks.

  • The GP

    Raise your hand if you know if Alex Smith is a good qb or a bad one.

    Ok

    Everyone with their hand up is a liar

    But after this Pats game I think it will be possible to say

    • I still remember Alex Smith going toe to toe in an ariel assault vs Brees in the playoffs a few years back.

      But then, I’ve seen him dumping off ever since, so yeah he’s a bit of an enigma.

      Don’t even know who he’s comparable with. A more athletic Orton, Pennington, Testaverde, Esaison?

      • AlbertInTucson

        He’d really bonded with Maclin but it looks like no Maclin this weekend.

        Starting to look iffy for Gronk, too.

      • DaMurph

        Id vote testaverde

      • The GP

        He’s been in 4 playoff games. He’s thrown 10 TDs and 1 INT.

        He’s 0-4.

        Is it him? Brandon Lloyd, Antonio Bryant, Arnaz Battle, old Isaac Bruce, tight end Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree was his talent on the Niners. During Kansas City’s 10-0 run to end the season, they beat eight teams below .500. The Texans suck, so WTFC if they won by 30?

        Are they contenders or pretenders? I don’t think it’s possible to say until we see Smith take on the Pats.

    • AlbertInTucson

      He’s somewhere in between.

      The Chiefs didn’t win 11 straight because he’s “bad”.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    Just silly. I love Kyle Long but he didn’t have a Pro Bowl season. (nowhere near) Time to end this game.”

    Agree.

    This just points out the paucity of talent at OT in the NFL these days….?

    • That Guy

      A sign that fans don’t really know enough about the game to game performance of players on all 32 teams to accurately pick the best people.

  • The GP

    Jed Dork hires Chip Kelly. Ha

    • AlbertInTucson

      Could that not be akin to Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam walking into the powder magazine with a lit match?

  • AlbertInTucson

    “DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    My hope is next season Chip lets Kaepernick run. He’s one of the most exciting running talents the league has ever seen. (Ask the Packers.)”

    The Bears will find out, first hand, no?

    • That Guy

      Kaep this year was an embarrassment, but its not clear whether that was on the player or the coach. Kelly is a lot of things, but a bad QB coach is not one of them. He got the most out of Foles; I think he can get a lot of good play for Kaep as well.

      Still, San Fran is not one the teams I’m most sweating next season.

      • willbest

        It doesn’t explain at all why he traded for Bradford when Bradford had no chance to run the read option. What is more he gave away picks to do it, AND assumed more in cap space than he would with Foles. If he hadn’t have made that deal he probably would still be HC of the Eagles right now.

  • The GP

    As Shady has stated, it’s everyone or no one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0akBdQa55b4

  • Trac
    • willbest

      Well if they want one of the OC/DC off the remaining playoff teams it doesn’t matter how long they take.

      • That Guy

        Prevailing theory is that he wants Josh McDaniels. McDaniels won’t want to be distracted till after the playoffs and the only teams still on the market are Detroit (if they fire Caldwell) and Tennessee.

  • Cubsnlinux

    My IQ just dropped 20 points watching this GOP debate. Now if any of these bozos even come closer to the Presidency… Oh My!

    • willbest

      Its the GOP’s turn. Dems aren’t even trying to win it.

      • Cubsnlinux

        Please.. I am not thrilled with any Presidential candidates in both parties but these guys tonight are absolute crap.

      • Cubsnlinux

        It’s a good comic relief though. I am thoroughly entertained.

        • willbest

          All the GOP debates are the same.

          Trump will say something that MSM is sure, this time, really will mean he is done, but he will gain in the polls because working class whites who are tried of being beaten on by both parties love what they hear.

          Rubio will continue to ingratiate himself to the Republican pundit class by sounding like a moderate, and they will go on and write plenty of columns about how if Trump supporters really wanted to make a difference they would vote for Rubio.

          Jeb will attack Rubio because he correctly realizes that the donor class is in the process of defecting to Rubio.

          Cruz will continue to keep his nose clean and sound like a more reasoned version of Trump that all the upper middle class whites can feel good about.

          Carson will continue his fade into obscurity, but be kept in despite his lack of relevance because if he were to drop out it would be a 2-way race between Cruz and Trump and the donor class will have none of that.

          Kasich is using this opportunity to convince the 12+ million democrats tuned into the GOP debate to explain why he would be the best Democrat candidate for the White House. Speaking of which, I have no idea why Bernie Sanders even bothers debating Hillary on Saturday night when 3 people are watching. I know her gal pal DWS tried her damnedest to make sure nobody even knew there were other people running beside Hillary, but that doesn’t mean Bernie needs to comply. He could reach 10 times as many democrats if he could weasel himself into a couple GOP debates like Kasich.

          • That Guy

            I think a Sanders/Kasich debate could be fascinating.

            It would be interesting to see two candidates from opposing parties who are legitimate contenders but trailing in the polls set something like that up. Both get the opportunity to prove they can contend in a general election.

            Sanders certainly fits the bill. Kasich is a legitimate candidate, but does he have the votes to justify a spot in something like that?

          • willbest

            If you can’t get 50 million people to learn your name by Iowa, you are not a legitimate candidate. Bernie might clear that threshold, Kasich does not

          • Trac

            You left out the part that evra politician running on the tax payers dime gets to live it up on other people’s money for a few more months. It’s the only reason half these guys are still running.

  • BerwynBomber

    The San Antonio Raiders? Hey, why not? If nothing else, their color scheme would match the Spurs. Gotta imagine Goodell would love to tap into such a Latino fan base. On the flips side, Jerra will be doing everything to block it.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14572902/red-mccombs-trying-lure-oakland-raiders-san-antonio

    • That Guy

      I wonder how their traditional fan base do in Texas. I could see it go either way.

  • BerwynBomber

    Long becomes the first Bear to make the Pro Bowl his first 3 seasons in the league since Urlacher.

    • Trac

      Eventually, the Bears may not be able to afford him.

      • willbest

        Top paid tackle goes for about $12 million these days. A top end guard caps around 7.5

        • That Guy

          The Bears will afford him fine. He’ll be the top paid offensive lineman (or one of the top two if we get someone else really good at left tackle). Teams budget for one or two well paid O-linemen.

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