Without much Bears news to talk about until training camp begins, I’m going to breakdown the Bears depth chart at every position. I’ll give a high-level overview of each position, highlight potential battles for both starting roles and roster spots and point out a few players to watch.
I’ve already covered the depth chart at a few positions:
- Nose Tackle
- Defensive End
- Running Back
- Inside Linebacker
- Tight End
- Outside Linebacker
- Offensive Tackle
Today I will be covering the Bears depth chart at guard. There has been a lot of turnover at the guard position this offseason with the release of solid veteran Matt Slauson, the drafting of Cody Whitehair in the 2nd round, and the move of Pro Bowler Kyle Long back to his original position of right guard.
Injuries and ineffectiveness on the Bears offensive line forced a lot of shuffling on the o-line with 2014 starters Matt Slauson and Kyle Long both playing other positions for part of the year. The Bears replacements at guard, Patrick Omameh and Vlad Ducasse, were basically awful and the Bears made some moves to replace them this offseason.
The Bears also added some free agent depth at the position by signing Ted Larson (AZ), Amini Silatulo (CAR), and Manny Ramirez (DEN), who has since retired. They only selected one guard in the draft, but added two potential development interior linemen in Adrian Bellard from Texas St and Donovan Williams from Louisiana.
With a highly-touted rookie and a couple of quality veterans in the mix for the starting left guard position, there should be much more competition for the gig which should bring out the best in at least one of the competitors. Whitehair is the opening day favorite, but keep and eye in Silaruko who could push Whitehair for the position when he’s fully recovered from and ACL tear last season. Either way, it should be fun to watch and not having to see Omameh or Ducasse on the field this year should improve the overall guard play.
I’ll be breaking down the depth chart below at guard including the starters, backups, those vying for a spot on the roster, and a player to watch in 2016.
Depth Chart: Guard
Right guard should no longer be a problem spot with two-time Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long moving back to his original position. In just two seasons at the guard position, Long had established himself as one of the best right guards in the league. The ill-fated move to right tackle was done out of necessity, but the Bears were smart enough to move Long back to the position he was borderline dominant at his first two years in the league.
On the left side Matt Slauson had been a rock for the Bears and his release still makes little to no sense to me. At least the Bears had a succession plan with the drafting of Cody Whitehair in the 2nd round. This week they added 27-year-old Amini Silatolu to push the rookie and also added Ted Larsson from the Cardinals earlier in the offseason.
Last seasons’ depth at guard consisted of Patrick Omameh and Vlad Ducasse, neither of which proved capable of playing at an even a replacement level and are no longer with the Bears (good riddance!).
The Bears have better depth at guard this year and I will break down who is competing for a starting job, backup gigs, fighting for spots at the end of the roster, and one player to watch.
Next: Position Battles (Starters)