Dec. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of University of Phoenix Stadium as reflected in a Chicago Bears helmet during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Brian de la Puente Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener

dlpWe had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again.  In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

Brian went undrafted in 2008 and signed with the 49′ers.  He spent the first three years of his career bouncing between five teams, including the 49′ers and Seahawks twice. It wasn’t till 2011 with the Saints that Brian got his chance to play. That occurred when starting center Olin Kruetz went down with an injury. de la Puente started every game in 2012 and 2013 and was ranked as one of the top centers in the NFL.  PFF had Brian ranked 4th best center in 2012 and in 2013 he placed 16th, just behind Garza.

It wasn’t until the later part of the UFA season that the Bears signed Brian to a one year contract. It was also reported the Giants had expressed interest in him as well. He signed for a dollar over the veteran minimum, which means the Bears can re-sign/extend at any time. He is also being reacquainted Bushrod and his old line coach, Aaron Kromer. The signing of de le Puente did bring some interesting reactions about what role he would play in 2014 with Garza at center.  The key element to his being with the Bears now is that if Garza goes down they have experienced center to take over. He also brings versatility in that he can play guard if Slauson or Long have injuries.  One thing is certain, it will be a heated battle at center going into training camp and wouldn’t assume Garza is a lock to start.

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