Chicago Bears Statistical Breakdown: center

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Cody Whitehair
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 10: Cody Whitehair /

How did the Chicago Bears fare at the center position in 2017?

Unfortunately for the Chicago Bears, they took a bit of a step back at center. It was a strong suit position coming into the year, but they leave the year with two questions.

Cody Whitehair started in all 16 games, although four were at guard due to the shuffling going on between Josh Sitton, Kyle Long and Tom Compton. Long was hurt from the start of the season and the team did not know what to do. Whitehair was a former guard, so he saw snaps in relief, as they called in Hronis Grasu, a true center to fill in for Whitehair. In turn, the Bears got worse at two positions, and stunted the growth of Whitehair at center. There is no surprise as to why he regressed from his rookie year. This season Pro Football Focus rated him out at a 74, the 13th overall center. It does not sound awful, but given a stronger freshman year, more was expected.

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Hroniss Grasu ended up taking 259 snaps away from Whitehair at center. Those add up. Grasu was terrible in his performance as well. PFF gave him a grade of 30. This is on a scale of 100. He did not see enough snaps to officially be ranked, but it was graded poor, and was lower than any qualified centers. Last season before his injury, Grasu was a serviceable piece. It is unclear what exactly happened, or if he was just shaking off the rust, but 2017 was not kind to him.