It’s no shocker that the Chicago Bears needed offensive linemen, and after the past few days, Ryan Poles has made the Bears’ offensive line much stronger than it was following the end of last season.
Is it the best offensive line in the league? No, but what it does is give promise to the fact that Justin Fields won’t be worried about death on each play. That’s absolutely a positive for Fields’ hopeful progression this season as a quarterback in the NFL, specifically with the Chicago Bears.
Riley Reiff is no stranger to the NFC North, as this will be his third NFC North home.
Reiff was selected No. 23 overall by the Detroit Lions in the 2012 NFL Draft, and after his five-year stint in Detroit, he then spent four seasons in Minnesota. Most recently, Reiff left the NFC North to join Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Riley Reiff reunites with NFC North, signed by Chicago Bears
Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing in at 305-pounds, Reiff has a great frame, and he fits into the “type” of general manager Ryan Poles.
Last season with the Bengals, Riley Reiff earned a 67.3 Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade, which is certainly not a grade to scoff at. Especially considering the offensive line he’s coming into. The Bears could’ve added just about anyone to the offensive line and have gained someone of use.
In his 711 snaps last season, Reiff let up only four sacks, while also only being penalized once. For a younger line that needs experienced leaders to learn from, this signing is one that makes a lot of sense.
Now, it’s a question of which young tackle will play right tackle, as it’s almost a guarantee that Reiff locks up that left tackle spot. In his 147-game career, only 14 games were played outside left tackle.
As of right now, the offensive line looks as such:
LT: Riley Reiff
LG: Cody Whitehair
C: Lucas Patrick
RG: Michael Schofield
RT: Teven Jenkins/Larry Borom/Braxton Jones(?)
After last season’s offensive line, seeing a lineup like this protecting Justin Fields should be much more relieving. Again, it’s not a perfect offensive line, but it’s an offensive line that likely won’t give up nine sacks in a game.
Who knows, maybe this is the start to the Chicago Bears forming an offense that works. It’s just the start, as the Bears have a lot to prove in this season, but as for now, things are looking up.
It’s fair to say, Ryan Poles has Justin Fields’ progression in mind when signing these players.