James Daniels looked good enough in his debut to continue to start for the Chicago Bears off of the bye week
The Chicago Bears mixed and matched their left guard with Eric Kush and James Daniels essentially rotating in at guard. However, we all should know that the writing is on the wall.
James Daniels had some downs in his NFL debut, however, with that were enough ups to buy into and to continue to play him moving forward.
The three plays highlighted should show enough to buy into Daniels as a starter moving forward. The first play is linked here. This is the reason you draft James Daniels. His athleticism. At his size, Daniels moves out in space with the best of them.
The Chicago Bears were able to pull him and use him out in space should open the run game more than they have in past weeks. One big issue this group has faced in the running game is breaking runs into the second level. When Daniels can get out into space clean and hold up a player with the talent of Lavonte David, it enables these backs to get outside and up field. This is a dimension that Daniels brings to the table in a much higher degree than Kush.
The second play flashes his athleticism as well. Take a look. Daniels is getting involved in the screen game. First, he gets a quick push off of the line of scrimmage. However, he is on a sprint into space from there. Daniels can get out to his man in time to clear him and get Cohen into open space. Once again, these types of plays are easier to run with Daniels than Kush. This move opens the playbook up in more ways than you think.
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The big question in moving from Kush to Daniels is whether or not Daniels has the strength to hold up. However, to start, Kush has not set the world on fire in that area either. Still, check this play. Early on, it looks like the strength of an NFL defensive lineman is going to get to him. However, watch his balance as he can hang on and hold his ground. He regains himself and battles out until the end.
That is crazy impressive and shows as much balance and strength as anything Kush has put on tape this season.
Daniels was not perfect in this game. Once or twice, the power of the NFL got to him, and he did struggle to get to the second level at times. However, the flashes of brilliance add a lot to this offense. He can get them sorted out, and still bring a dynamic nature that Kush does not.
There is enough here to bet on James Daniels moving forward. Expect the Chicago Bears to do so.