Bears

Matt Nagy won't address the rumors about a James Daniels-Cody Whitehair switch, which is telling in its own way

Bears

On Wednesday afternoon, rumors swirled on Twitter that Cody Whitehair was getting first-team reps at center. It was suggested that James Daniels, the Bears’ current center, moved back to left guard, where he played all of last season. 

It’d be a notable decision given that the Whitehair-Daniels switch was made this offseason with both of their long term projections in mind. Whitehair played guard during his final two seasons at Kansas State, and Daniels was a three-year center at Iowa. 

During Wednesday’s press conference, Matt Nagy declined to go into any detail on the rumors. 

“With all due respect, that’s one thing I’m not going to get into, game strategy wise,” Nagy said at Thursday’s press conference. “We’re always looking for solutions though. I’ll leave it at that.”

It’s been a tough first half for both linemen. According to analytics site Pro Football Focus, both have regressed – Whitehair more significantly – in 2019: 

2018 Daniels: 62.9 Overall, 69.9 Pass Blocking, 59.2 Run Blocking 
2019 Daniels: 60.2 Overall, 68.5 Pass Blocking, 54.4 Run Blocking 

2018 Whitehair: 70.4 Overall, 77.2 Pass Blocking, 65.1 Run Blocking
2019 Whitehair: 67.4 Overall, 76.6 Pass Blocking, 59.2 Run Blocking

“It’s something, for us, where we look at the whole thing – not just the parts,” Nagy added. “There’s a lot of different reasons for a lot of different things in this offense right now. At this point right now, it doesn’t benefit us at all to start getting into that. There’s a lot of things that this offense needs to get better at, and it starts with myself.” 

 

If nothing else, it’s a notable non-answer given how straightforward Nagy’s been about issuing player personnel decisions to the media in the past. He has put to bed – rather adamantly, at times – the idea of a mid-game, or mid-season, QB switch. He was clear about moving on from Kyle Long and the decision-making behind Mike Davis’ lack of snaps. 

Halfway through a season that has all of Chicago reading up on Murphy’s Law, however, the Bears are trying to fix a historically-bad offense in time to save a season that started with Super Bowl plans. As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. 

“Whenever you’re looking at these position switches, whatever it is, offense, defense, special teams, we’re talking about solutions,” Nagy added. “So if that’s something we decide to do, either at that position or somewhere else, there’s always a why behind it.” 

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