If you watch these two plays, one from James Daniels and one from Eric Kush, you will know who needs to start in Week Five
It seems as though the writing is on the wall for James Daniels to start over Eric Kush. For the Chicago Bears, it is exciting to see a second round rookie get onto the field so early into his career. However, there could be some real schematic advantages that open up the offense with this move.
James Daniels is younger and more athletic than Eric Kush. We know that. Combine that with the awareness of an award-winning Iowa center, and you have a player who will be much better at pulling and getting involved in the screen game.
Take these two plays for example. First, we see Eric Kush on a screenplay. Notice how Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long have their heads upfield and are looking to pick up blocks to spring the screen into space.
Then, notice how Kush has his back turned to the open field and is looking to see if the pass is completed. When it is, he turns around and then looks to make his block. With that, he is too slow to get out in front of the linebacker, who comes across the field and makes the tackle.
James Daniels got a chance to get into the open field on a Tarik Cohen screen. The play is here.
First, Daniels makes a block at the line. Then, as the screen is getting set up, you can see that he is looking up the field and trying to find his block. He can get out to Lavonte David, and chip the talented linebacker just enough to spring Tarik Cohen into the open field. This helped spring a 31-yard gain.
This is going to open up the Bears playbook in a significant way. The team has not run off of the tackles often this season, and that could become more prominent with a guard that you trust to pick up linebackers at the second level.
The team got Taylor Gabriel involved in the sweep game, and are looking to incorporate more motion and fakes in their offense. That will be added with wham blocks, pins and pulls and other blocking variations that come into play more often with an athletic guard such as Daniels.
And of course, Daniels has already shown an upgrade in the screen game. The upgrade to Daniels is not only overdue but could prove an even better Chicago Bears offense in a variety of ways.