How would you evaluate the performance of Chicago Bears guard Eric Kush through the first four games?
After starting with Charles Leno yesterday, today we finish the rest of the Chicago Bears offensive line. I think you all know where we are headed with this one. However, the question remains, how has Eric Kush graded out this season?
Against the run, it has been pretty clear that he has been the weakest member of the group. Not only has he had some trouble against burst off of the football in the interior, but he has also had a big issue getting out into the second level. This has been one of the big reasons why Howard has struggled to break runs into the open field.
When looking at directional success, the Bears have a 54% success running to Whitehair, a 57% success rate to Long, and a 47% success rate to Kush. That is 3.8, 3.6, and 2.5 yards per carry respectively.
As a pass protector, he has been the liability of the group as well. However, first, it should be noted, he has not been a disaster. The unit has been solid, which has helped him stand out as the weak link.
One area where Kush has excelled is the ability to look for work and look to clean up blocks. He had five plays like the one linked here where he was left free and was able to seek out punishment.
However, with that Kush allowed a sack, a pressure, three quarterback hits, and lost six reps that did not end up hurting the play. Charles Leno had five combined losses, that is 11 for Kush.
Another issue that has shown in Kush’s game is his screen game value. Similarly to his inability to get out into space to break runs, he also has struggled to do the same in the screen game.
Watch the screen from this play. Watch how Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long both have their heads up field, and they are looking for who to take on to break this screen open. Eric Kush is turned around and watching to see if the pass is caught.
Kush is slow to turn around, and while his two teammates pick up a safety and a cornerback in space, Kush is too slow to catch up to a linebacker, and the play ends because Kush got caught watching.
This ended being a trend when going back through every rep from Kush. As mentioned, one of his best attributes this season has been his help in pass blocking. However, sometimes it seems like he is looking to help rather than taking on the man in front of him. He can get watching or looking at the play, and it helps in him losing momentum.
After watching James Daniels, the thought was he had shown enough to start next week. After watching Kush, it is clear that this move needs to happen.