Chicago Bears beat 49ers: A Changing of the Guard
Sep 14, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller (23) runs after intercepting San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) (not pictured) in the fourth quarter of their NFL football game at Levis Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
Simply stated what a game! There is not much I can add to what has already been written about Sunday nights heroic comeback by the Chicago Bears. I can say they exceeded my expectations, not so much by winning, but by improving. Well, in general, the special teams unit took a small step backwards, but that is a different topic for a different day. The key takeaway for me, was the beginning of the changing of the guard.
During the offseason, the Bears added a lot of new faces, and we have watched with a measure of frustration how these new players would fit into the system. It is one thing, to have one or two work their way into the lineup, but not have six step up in one night and acquit themselves so well, is another matter entirely. While I do not expect wholesale changes, I do believe we are starting to see the Emery plan gradually come together, sadly it took injuries to get the wheels in motion.
So a quick review where those changes are occurring:
Offensive Line: Garza and Slauson out. Brian De La Punte takes over center and as expected has played well. Like I have said before, one of Emery’s shrewdest signings and it is paying off. I know Garza has been team captain, highly respected, but I see no reason to remove BDLP. The plan was for BDLP to take over next season, when Garza retires, that has been accelerated now.
I know the old axiom a starter doesn’t lose his job to an injury, sorry, in this case he does. The fact is, BDLP is the better center. Now. Michael Ola. The 49’ers put one of the best Dlineman on him and Ola played well. He has shown versatility and each game he gets better. He is not ready to replace Slauson full time, but I can see Ola challenging for a starting role next season. He is a vast improvement over Britton and could turn out to be another steal by Emery.