The Chicago Bears gained a lot this off-season in the trenches. Contributing is more than just playing on the field.
Many Chicago Bears fans would have loved to see Ryan Pace draft offensive linemen throughout the entire draft. Many were disappointed in the offensive linemen haul. Many more are going to be even more disappointed that the Chicago Bears are apparently out on Larry Warford.
Ryan Pace has been fascinating in his tenure as the Chicago Bears’ general manager. It goes without showing that Ryan Pace is searching high and low to fix the offensive line. Jason Spriggs failed in Green Bay. Spriggs was the 48th overall selection in the 2016 NFL draft.
It was rumored that the Green Bay Packers moved up to get ahead of the Chicago Bears to take Spriggs before the Bears could get to him. Spriggs scored a 72.4 PFF pass-blocking grade in 2018. He was placed on injured reserve last year but came with a solid pass-blocking history and ability.
Even if a player is not the starting choice, the players brought in this year to play in the trenches bring something to the team. Fans tend to forget that backups and role players can control the tempo and desire in other players throughout practices and games. Dennis Rodman used to push the Bulls players in practice just because he could. What Rodman was doing is what is needed in Chicago now for the Bears.
Arlington Hambright and Lachavious Simmons were seventh-round draft picks, but don’t let that fool you. So was Charles Leno, who was asked to play in three games his rookie year and has been a starter since 2015.
Hambright and Simmons are both athletic movers with a nasty desire to block. While Hambright is looked at as an interior blocker who lacks some strength, he has shared how he loves to hit people. Hambright wants to be the first off the ball to smack the guy across from him. While Hambright might not pack a punch when he hits an opposing defender, he is going to get there so quickly it will make their head spin.
Simmons is athletic but was that mauler that most Chicago Bears fans love. Simmons highlights are going to put a big smile on your face when you see him in action. Mind you; it was against lower-level talent. Only time will tell if he can still pancake defenders at the NFL level.
The fact that we all know he wants to maul others is the main point. The ability to block through the whistle will help set a tone in practice. That is something Kyle Long was known for bringing to the table. Practicing hard makes the game days even better. Even if he doesn’t develop into the dominating blocker he was in college, that desire and willingness will make other players better and want to do the same. Nobody ever wants to be out hustled.