Are There Potential OL Upgrades Available for the Bears?

| October 21st, 2020

Nick Foles, in his inspirational postgame press conference on Sunday, said, “without belief nothing is possible”. There’s truth to that. But with all due respect to Foles, belief alone isn’t going to get the Chicago Bears offense anywhere.

Foles was excited after the Bears defeated the Carolina Panthers to move to 5-1. And he should be, as another win buys the Bears more time to figure out what is hurting their offense. Foles believes they will, and he has his reasons, but six games into the season — and 38 into the Matt Nagy era — there’s little reason for anyone on the outside to believe the Bears are going to get where they need to be offensively.

There’s no reason to believe Foles’ belief is anything but blind optimism. In the same press conference he also said, “There have been teams that have been bad offensively for a very long time, we’re not one of those teams.”

But, hey, he’s new here. We’ll cut him some slack on that one.

Belief is fine. The Bears need better players on offense.

First, the offensive line. There are a handful of journeymen available, such as Eric Kush and Ted Larsen — two guys who have played for Nagy before — that could fill in for James Daniels and be a significant upgrade over the Bars/Coward combination.

The trade market could also be interesting, as Alex Mack, Kevin Zeitler and Brandon Scherff might be available. Mack is in the last year of his deal with Atlanta at 35 years old. One last chance at a Super Bowl push could be enough to temp him to ask Atlanta to move him if a contender comes calling. We saw that he can still play at a high level earlier this year. He could come in at center, with the Bears then moving Cody Whitehair to left guard.

Zeitler, at guard, should be at least vaguely familiar with the offense, having played for Pat Shurmur last year. Scherff has experience in zone blocking running game and West Coast passing from his time with Sean McVay. Playing the 2020 season on the franchise tag, Scherff would likely cost a second round pick, but the other two should be cheap and would immediately make the Bears a better team.

Other positions could take longer and there doesn’t appear to be as much talent potentially available at running back or wide receiver. Perhaps there are some possible upgrades already on the roster at those positions, though.

Belief is fun, but Foles hasn’t seen the Nagy Bears long enough to know it’s a waste. The Bears need better players, especially upfront, if they’re going to start scoring points.

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