3. Offensive Line
Many fans are arguing for the Chicago Bears offensive line taking a step forward by noting that Kyle Long retired, and Rashaad Coward is no longer how penciled in to start. How could it get worse? Bears fans are proclaiming as they expect the best.
The other side of the question could just as easily be asked, did they get any better?
The Bears know what they have in Charles Leno. He is likely not getting better at this stage of his career, even if he may not regress. Cody Whitehair and James Daniels are back in their 2018 positions where they had their most success, and that is the strength of the line.
Still, when you look at the right side, there are all of the questions noted with Bobby Massie and his injuries. At right guard, the argument that “anyone” will be better than Long and Coward is fair is some regards. Long himself admitted he no longer had it, and Coward had no experience at guard.
Still, how much better is Germain Ifedi going to make the line? Coward had no experience, but Ifedi has played one year at right guard, and has been a tackle for the majority of his NFL and college career. The transition is going to take time, and continuity and timing is the most crucial factor with offensive line play.
Shuffling Ifedi into a new team and new position with no offseason does not sound like a significant upgrade. When you consider they may be shuffling at right tackle beside him, it could easily be just as troublesome.
Beyond that, the depth is questionable. They turned Ted Larsen into Corey Levin and added Jason Spriggs as a veteran tackle. Still, Spriggs has been a below-average starter for his entire career. Arlington Hambright, Lachavious Simmons, Alex Bars, Sam Mustipher, and Coward will all compete for roster spots, but that is three UDFAs and two late seventh-round rookies. They have depth in numbers, but not in talent.
For as much as you can spin the line positively, you can poke holes in the unit. There have to be serious questions about whether this offensive line is going to be upgraded or not.