Most of the discussion surrounding the Chicago Bears offensive line over the past few weeks is about their tackle positions. After rolling with Larry Borom at left tackle and Teven Jenkins at right last month, the coaching staff made a surprise chance this past week by demoting Jenkins to the second team, shifting Borom to the right side, and elevating rookie Braxton Jones to starting left tackle. That led to understandable discussions about what might be going on. Yet that also made it easy to overlook the more significant problem facing the team at right guard.
At least the tackle positions have room for optimism, even if they lack certainty. Such isn’t the case at the interior spot. Based on what Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported, the team is alternating between two veterans with the first-team offense. One is free agent signing Dakota Dozier, and the other is Sam Mustipher. This is so discouraging that neither can be considered anything close to what the team had in James Daniels last year.
“One of the other moves was switching from Sam Mustipher at right guard to Dakota Dozier, a 31-year-old who primarily has been a backup in his career. Right guard figures to be up for grabs when training camp opens, and it makes sense not to simply hand a job to Jenkins, who underwent back surgery during his rookie season and was limited to six games, two starts and only 161 snaps.”
Now that Dakota Dozier is off the Vikings for good, I’m just reminiscing about the time he helped sack his own QB..
— Tanishka🧞♀️ (@taanishkaaa) March 23, 2022
Chicago Bears are taking a dangerous gamble.
Dozier was a hot mess the last time he started a full season in 2020, allowing 46 pressures and six sacks with the Minnesota Vikings. That was at left guard too. So expecting him to be better at an unfamiliar spot on the right side doesn’t seem likely. As for Mustipher, is is even more uncharted territory for him. The former undrafted free agent has been nothing but a center since the beginning of his college career. That was his spot. He has never played guard once. Considering his limited size and iffy athleticism, his fit in the new wide zone offense doesn’t feel great, either.
When Chicago Bears fans are forced to pin their hopes on late-round draft picks like Zachary Thomas or Ja’Tyre Carter, that is a problem. The belief remains that GM Ryan Poles may end up looking to add another veteran in the next month or two in hopes of solidifying the position. The last thing they need is such a glaring hole up front with Justin Fields entering his second season.
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