The Bears defense looks really good this season. Like deep postseason run good. But if one thing could hold them back, it’s the play of their offensive line now that reliable guard James Daniels is out for the year.
Through six weeks, they’ve only mustered 540 rush yards-- good for 90 yards/game. Heading into Sunday, they were sixth-worst in the league running the football. And while the Bears didn’t surrender any sacks against the Panthers, Nick Foles was under pressure for most of the game.
So the Bears should just trade for an offensive lineman to bolster the position and cruise to the playoffs right?
The Football Aftershow crew says not so fast, and easier said than done.
“Are we an offensive lineman away?” said David Kaplan. “I don’t think so. I think you give the guys that you have (a chance). You brought them there for a reason, you give them a chance.”
Lance Briggs agreed.
“You also have a situation where you have one loss,” Briggs said. “You are in the race right now. You are firmly in the race. And you can look at the board and say, ‘Hey, this is where we need to make certain adjustments,’ you know, ‘How can we help our line?’ That’s I think where we have to look, or the Bears organization, how can we help our line.
Briggs explains there are philosophies, schemes and even different personnel packages the Bears could run to help their O-Line play better.
“Maybe we run the ball more,” Briggs said. “Maybe we commit to running the ball more, you get more help, you get more chippers, you get more mass protection. Those are things you can do moving forward. I think at this point, going out and getting a trade is a reach, so you have to work with what is in your system of your organization.”
Even if the Bears decided to go out and add an offensive lineman, Olin Kreutz thinks it will be tough for the Bears to find a trade partner.
“There are so few good offensive linemen out there, people don’t give them away anymore,” Kreutz said. “So if you got them in your building, you hold onto them as tight as you can. Or if you’ve got a Laremy Tunsil situation, where are you going to give two one’s and a three like they did for Kahlil Mack.”
Kreutz is referring to the steep price the Houston Texans paid to acquire Tunsil in 2019. The Texans shipped two first-round draft picks, plus a second-round draft pick and two other players to Miami in exchange for Tunsil and a couple other lower picks.
“So can they go get a guy to improve the offensive line right now on a team that is out of the playoffs right now, like the Jets? Would they trade a Mekhi Becton-- a guy they just drafted this year? Most guys wouldn’t.
“Because these cornerstones, you can’t find them anywhere and that is kinda the way the Bears are where they are.”