Chicago Bears: QB is Needed, but Not Before Addressing O-Line

Chicago Bears (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

It’s safe to say that the decline of the Chicago Bears in the 2019 season didn’t blow over too well with fans in the Windy City. After winning the NFC North title with a 12-4 record in 2018, the Bears failed to meet expectations by finishing 2019 going 8-8 and placing third in the division.

Defensively, Chicago wasn’t as productive as they were in 2018. However, the unit was still good enough to be ranked eighth in total defense in 2019, despite losing key players to injuries. Unfortunately, it was on the offensive side of the ball where the Bears’ problems resided.

In the second year of head coach Matt Nagy’s scheme, Chicago’s offense ranked 29th in the NFL, surrendered 45 sacks (12th-most in the league) and 86 quarterback hits. In addition, the Bears’ running game averaged only 91.1 yards per game and 3.7 yards per carry (both 27th in the league). Fingers can be pointed at many things for the blame of such inept production. However, when it comes to production on the field, everything starts on the line of scrimmage, and this is why addressing the offensive line should be top priority during the offseason.

There is no doubt that the play of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky could have been much better. The second-overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft still has not lived up to expectations, and is on the verge of being labeled as a bust.

More from Chicago Bears News

Many will say that making a move to sign a free-agent quarterback such as Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, or Jameis Winston can possibly light a fire under Trubisky and bring some much-needed competition to training camp this summer. There is also the option of making a trade for Cam Newton, Derek Carr, or Andy Dalton. But what’s the point of having more talent under center if there isn’t a reliable offensive line in front of him that will offer consistent protection?

As far as the running attack, there can’t be any improvement in this area unless the Bears find a way to get meaner and nastier when it comes to pushing defenders off of the line of scrimmage. Even with the subpar offensive front Chicago had this past year, running back David Montgomery still managed to rush for a respectable 889 yards and six touchdowns. Just imagine what Montgomery and the rest of the Bears’ backfield can do with an upgraded o-line.

The biggest change that needs to be made along the offensive line is at right guard. In 2019, injuries finally caught up with Kyle Long and forced him to hang up his cleats for good. The Bears then had to turn to Rashaad Coward to fill the void. Coward did his best at right guard, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be the team’s long-term answer. Of course, there is Ted Larsen. However, Larsen is an unrestricted free agent, and will be 33 years old in June.

Then there is the flip-flop between Cody Whitehair and James Daniels. At the start of the season, Daniels was at center, while Whitehair manned the left guard spot. Later in the year, the two traded spots again.

Overall, the interior of the offensive line needs work, and general manager Ryan Pace needs to do some heavy research via free agency and the draft in order to fix this problem. It will be interesting to see how the Bears will approach this situation during the offseason, especially with new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and new offensive line coach Juan Castillo.

We will have to keep an eye out on who the Bears will potentially target during the 2020 NFL Combine and once free agency officially opens in March.