Hroniss Grasu: The Future Is Now


Sunday the Bears’ earned their first victory of 2015 … but like the rest of John Fox’s first season in Chicago, it wasn’t without injury. In the first half of the game, second year linemen Charles Leno JR got the start in place of (the often injured) Jermon Bushrod at left tackle. On an assigned chop block, Leno went at the legs of Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith and speared the left leg of veteran center and 2015 free agent addition Will Montgomery, breaking his fibula. The Bears moved left guard Matt Slauson to center and replaced him with the recently added Patrick Omameh. Tuesday, the Bears announced Montgomery would be placed on injured reserve, leaving the team with two guards who can sub at center, and 2015 third rounder, Hroniss Grasu.

BearGogglesOn’s own Boomer Burzawa talks about the Bears makeshift offensive line here.

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In the preseason, Grasu looked to be a bit out of his element against NFL talent. It was clear the former Duck was going to need some time in the weight room to really hold his own against the stronger and faster defensive linemen of the NFL. It was widely speculated that Grasu would sit for the bulk of 2015 and get up to speed and be the walk in starter for 2016 and several seasons after… the Bears weren’t counting on losing the veteran presence of Will Montgomery.

Grasu was inactive for the Bears’ win against the Raiders, so they had no choice but to piece together their best offensive line for the game. With Montgomery out for the season, leaving Matt Slauson at LG and letting rookie Hroniss Grasu start makes the most sense for the Bears moving forward.

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears spent the third rounder, the 71st overall pick, on Grasu who was considered to be one of most NFL ready centers of the 2015 draft class. Using such a high pick, it’s clear to see the Bears think very highly of Grasu and he is in the team’s long term plan. Montgomery’s unfortunate injury could be Grasu’s lucky break… no pun intended…

The Bears are in a “grey” enough area that they can make moves like this, starting young players and letting them get game time reps, prepping them for much bigger roles in the near future. There is no better way to prepare youngsters and evaluate their talent than letting them IN THE GAME.

The Bears need to start Hroniss Grasu for the remainder of 2015, let him learn the game by playing the game, while building continuity with the starters and preparing him to lead the offensive line for years to come.

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