Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears New Era hat on the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears coaching staff continues to take shape. The Bears announced the addition of Ben Wilkerson as assistant offensive line coach. Wilkerson spent a few seasons in the NFL as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals from 2005-2006 and the Atlanta Falcons from 2007-2008. Wilkerson was a graduate assistant for his alma mater, LSU in 2011 and served as an offensive line coach for Grambling State in 2012-2013.
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Wilkerson joins offensive line coach Dave Magazu with an offensive line in need of a resurgence. The offensive line took a step back in 2014 after a remarkable turnaround in 2013. The Bears offensive line suffered through several injuries including a season ending injury to left guard Matt Slauson and missed time from everyone expect Pro Bowler Kyle Long.
You can expect Jermon Bushrod to remain at left tackle and Kyle Long to remain at right guard, but beyond that, there could be some competition for a few spots. Roberta Garza signed an extension under the old regime to play center, but he’s clearly at the twilight of his career. Slauson will look to bounce back from injury, but could face competition from Michael Ola, who spelled him a few games. Jordan Mills will have to come back after a rough season at right tackle. Mills suffered a foot injury at the end of 2013 that cost him a lot of his 2014 offseason program. Right tackle is certainly a spot where the Bears could look to upgrade.
In conjunction with bringing in Wilkerson, the Bears announced they are parting ways with former assistant offensive line coach Pat Meyer and defensive quality control coach Chris Harris. (Yes, that Chris Harris, who also spent time with John Fox in Carolina after his first stint with the Bears.) Some thought Harris could stick with the Fox based on their past together.