The Chicago Bears backup tackle battle just got a whole lot more interesting
From the Hall of Fame game on, Rashaad Coward has made what has looked like a seamless transition from defensive tackle to right tackle. When the Chicago Bears announced the move, it had all of the makings of a player spending at least one more season on the practice squad.
However, through three preseason games, his progress has him as a question to make the 53-man roster. The fact of the matter is that he has outplayed Bradley Sowell so far.
Outplaying Sowell does not sound like a significant accomplishment, but this likely is his only roadblock to the 53-man roster. Sowell made the team last season and had to kick in to guard at times due to injuries.
That is what Sowell brings that has him ahead of Rashaad Coward at the moment. Bradley Sowell can play four and potentially five of the offensive line spots in a pinch. It is not going to be pretty across the board, but he does bring low-end roster caliber play in a variety of places. Knowing the Chicago Bears injury issues, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Coward has only played right tackle so far. While he looked good in the spot, it would seem reckless if the depth forced him to play somewhere else. On top of that, while he has flashed in moments at right tackle, Coward still has to get some of the nuances of the game down.
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This is what makes the decision much tougher than initially stated. Yes, Coward appears to be the more physically imposing player. He also has more upside to his ceiling.
From the other side, Sowell brings positional versatility and understanding of the backup role with the mindset of being thrown into a position without much notice.
While the dress rehearsal game is in week three, expect the Chicago Bears to once again give the entire second half to Sowell on the left side and Coward on the right to see what the two have next to each other.
Heck, with the fourth game being that for fringe players and players who are competing for new teams, would it be surprising if those two started and played the majority of Week Four as well? The team should be taking every snap they can to look at these two under the microscope.
A training camp battle we did not expect to see seems to be brewing up as the team heads back to their practice facility. These two will be worth following over the next two weeks.