Chicago Bears: Previewing the right guard competition

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Chicago Bears, Rashaad Coward

Chicago Bears (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Rashaad Coward – Chicago Bears Project Player

Battling Ifedi for the starting job is Rashaad Coward, who stepped in for Kyle Long last season after he went to Injured Reserve. Coward started 10 games last season in his place playing in 13 games overall.

Coward played horribly last season; there is no denying that. But, he wasn’t cut for a reason. The Bears have to see something in him in order to keep him. What could those things exactly be though?

For starters, Coward moved to the offensive line in the 2018 season after playing on the defensive line all throughout college and in his first season in the NFL. Coming out of high school, FBS schools wanted him to play defensive tackles, but he chose an FCS school so he could play defensive line.

Now in the NFL, Coward got moved to offensive tackle to learn to be the swing tackle behind Bobby Massie and Charles Leno. Once Long went down, Coward was forced to switch to guard to back up Ted Larsen, who was Long’s backup. Shorly after, Larsen got hurt too and Coward was forced into action.

For a guy who had almost no experience at offensive guard, Coward showed intangibles that keep him here. He plays with power and aggression that can’t be taught. Coward improved as the season went on, but he still was no good. He is still a massive project that if he pans out, props to Pace, Nagy, and Castillo for turning him into that, but he isn’t ready to be a full-time guard. His power and hand placement show promise, but his technique is lacking greatly and needs a lot of work.

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