Bears Considering Another Switch At Guard, Center

Cody Whitehair and James Daniels could move back to their positions of 2018.

Chris Emma
November 07, 2019 - 3:25 pm
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- As the Bears seek solutions for their sputtering offense, they're considering another change on their offensive line.

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In what would be a reversal of their offseason switch, the Bears could switch Cody Whitehair back to center and James Daniels to left guard. Coach Matt Nagy declined to confirm whether the Bears will follow through with the change.

"We're going to look at a lot of different things," Nagy said. "We're always looking for solutions, so I'll leave it as that."

In the offseason, the Bears elected to move Whitehair from center to left guard and Daniels from left guard to center. They Bears did so with the belief they were moving each player to his more natural position.

A second-round pick of the Bears in 2018, Daniel played left guard in 16 games last season, including 10 starts. Until this past offseason, Whitehair had been the team's starting center since his arrival as a second-round pick in 2016.

Daniels declined to comment when approached about the potential change before practice Thursday. Whitehair wasn't available to reporters in the locker room. 

"Whenever you’re looking at these position switches, whatever it is, offense, defense, special teams, we’re always talking about solutions," Nagy said. "So, if that’s something we decide to do, either at that position or somewhere else, there’s always a why behind it. 

"There are a lot of things with this team right now that we just are always looking at. I think that for us, for the competitive advantage, just keep everything with us."

The Bears (3-5) are riding a four-game losing streak and sit in last place of the NFC North as they prepare to host the Lions at Soldier Field on Sunday. Chicago's offense has been at the root of its disappointing season, averaging only 4.5 yards per play and 266.8 yards per game.

In October, the Bears shut down three-time Pro Bowl lineman and starting right guard Kyle Long as he was struggling while managing a hip injury. Long was placed on injured reserve, and Nagy revealed he wouldn't be designated for a return. The Bears turned to Rashaad Coward, once an undrafted free agent defensive lineman, as their new right guard.

While many of the Bears' offensive struggles have fallen on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Nagy has defended Trubisky by saying there's blame to share for every player on the unit. In a 22-14 loss to the Eagles on Sunday, the Bears posted only 164 total yards of offense, a new low during Nagy's tenure. That total included only nine yards of offense in the first half, the fewest for any NFL team in the last 40 years.

For the Bears, a changing of the guard and center is only part of the equation as they look to fix their disappointing offense.

"We look at the whole thing, not just the parts," Nagy said. "And there's a lot of different reasons for a lot of different things with this offense right now that at this point in time, right now, it doesn't benefit us at all to start getting into that. So, there are a lot of things with this offense that we need to get better at, and it starts with myself.

"Right now, there’s been more frustration than success, and we want to be able to understand the why part. Well, we’re hammering through that and we do really feel like we’re right there, we do. We believe it’s close."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.