The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series is now underway for the second season in a row. With 78 days to go until the Bears season kicks off, we will highlight the Bears player that is wearing number 78, offensive tackle William Poehls.
Offensive Tackle William Poehls has not been with the Bears that long. They signed him to the practice squad on November 2nd, 2016. After his signing, he remained there for the rest of the season. Then, on January 3rd, he signed a reserve/futures contract with the team. The Bears clearly wanted to see what they had in the young offensive lineman.
The Bears are going to have a lot of competition in training camp on the offensive line. The spots at offensive tackle will see the most competition. Poehls, who stands at 6’8” and weighs 334 pounds, has the size that you would want at offensive tackle. With that kind of size, he could dominate defenders. But does he have the skill to dominate some of the best defenders in football?
Poehls will compete against such talent as Charles Leno, Jr., Bobby Massie, Tom Compton, Joseph Dieugot, Mitchell Kirsch, Cyril Richardson and Bradley Sowell. All of these players are slated to be offensive tackles with the Bears. As you can see, he is going to have a lot of competition and will need to be at his best to earn a roster spot.
If you have seen any tape from his college days, where the last good playing tape of him comes from, you can see that he played well. Poehls did play guard at Montana, but with some fine-tuning, he can be effective as an offensive tackle. He wasn’t facing top-level competition in college but dominated at that level. He may not be able to dominate in the NFL just yet, but with an opportunity and some good coaching, he might be able to be very effective.
Poehls can try out for both tackle positions but, in Chicago, might be best suited for the right tackle spot. It’s unlikely he will beat out Leno, Jr. on the left side and Massie on the right but could easily be a solid number two guy. He could step in, play in a pinch, and keep the Bears from suffering too much if there were to be a short-term injury.
The Bears may have found something good in Poehls, and we should be eager to see what he can do in training camp. With a solid, injury free camp, he could easily make the active roster as a backup tackle and stick with the team during the entire regular season.
Poehls has a good chance to step in and become the back up at right tackle to Bobby Massie.With his skill, if he can develop during training camp, he could easily end up in that role.Poehls will need to polish his pass protection skills a little bit, but his run-blocking prowess is sound. With some good coaching, he can and will improve.
Future with the Bears
If Poehls can shine in training camp, he will easily make the active roster. In addition to that, if needed, he can come in and start for short periods in case of an injury. If he can prove to be a quality backup, the Bears will probably give him another one-year deal and have him try to earn a spot on the roster in 2018. If he cannot make the team, he should easily be able to earn a place on another team quickly.