Film review: Alex Bars overpowered in Chicago Bears debut
Alex Bars got his first start with the Chicago Bears. It did not go well
Many fans have wanted the Chicago Bears to start second-year UDFA Alex Bars. However, it was not like this. With injuries and COVID-19 plaguing the offensive line, the Bears had to trot out Bars at center, a position he had never played before.
The game went about as you expected. Beyond one fumbled snap, Bars looked overmatched and overpowered on nearly every single play. Expectations were low and he may not have met them.
Below you see the first play from Bars. You can disclaim that he has not played center all that you want. His head was certainly spinning processing things in the middle. Still, the block below would be expected if he was a guard. In fact, James Daniels was asked to make it often.
Bars is asked to execute a combo block, chipping 90 at the line, and getting into the second level to cover the linebacker, 54. Bars chips, and stumbles as he tries to take out the legs of Rashaan Evans.
Evans swipes right through Bars as he slides onto the ground. Evans gets into the backfield and makes the tackle.
Below he takes on another UDFA in 78, Teair Tart. Sure, Bars is not used to snapping and getting into phase. Still, the UDFA stands up Bars right off of the snap. Cordarelle Patterson immediately met by the nose tackle and has to evade him as he gets the football.
The defensive lineman got a running start at Bars below and that was not a good look for Bars. Bars is off-balance from the start and is hardly a speed bump who slows down the rusher before Nick Foles has to abandon the pocket.
Watch him against Daquan Jones below. Once again Bars loses immediately off of the ball. Jones pushes him right back into David Montgomery, who barely takes a step before he is met by a defender.
It is impossible for the Chicago Bears to play like this.
Bars gets an initial push in the play below as the Bears attempt to run outside zone. However, once again, Jones is able to stand him up and read the run. He tosses Bars to the side when Montgomery cuts outside, and the play is once again too easy for the defense.
Bars was the lowest graded player by PFF, and the tape absolutely matches. It has been stated well enough that this is not fair to judge Bars off of. However, you do have to get a sense that the coaching staff knows what they have in Bars, and there is a reason we have not seen him to date.
While it is possible that Bars would have played better had he debuted at guard instead, the initial signs from Bars is that he has a ways to go before he is an NFL caliber player. We have written extensively about the struggles of Rashaad Coward, but it is starting to become clear why the team did choose him to start at left guard over Bars.