2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

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EricTighe
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:18 pm

You missed some.
T D.J. HUMPHRIES- Was hurt early in career and now is starting to show why he was a first-round choice. Classic late bloomer.
T JACK CONKLIN not the greatest in pass protection but still solid. Tennesee did not pick up his 5th-year option.
T Brian Bulaga= Pretty solid tackle and just turned 30.
T Anthony Castonzo 31 and playing better every year. He will be expensive





Here is some info on Thuney
Joe Thuney, Guard
Age: 27
2019 stats: 16 games played, zero penalties, one sacks allowed
2019 salary: $2 million

Thuney is one of the best and most versatile offensive linemen on the open market this offseason. He has been superb as a pass blocker, can play any position on the offensive line as needed, and has been a true iron-man, playing at least 99.2 percent of the Patriots snaps in each of his four seasons as a starter.
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dplank
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:02 pm

I’d be thrilled to get any one of those guys
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:13 pm

Before I sign or draft anyone, I want to see if Lucas or Massie can play RG. Coward isn’t the answer, though he was better than Long was. Lucas and Daniel were our top graded O linemen this year. While we’re not ‘stuck’ stuck, with Massie and Leno, I’d be ok with Leno, Daniel, Whitehair, Massie, Lucas with a couple of young guys to groom at G and T. But Massie would have to be willing and able to slide inside.
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wab
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:42 pm

Massie has never played inside. Not in college, not in the NFL. Not even random snaps at guard. That projection is a stretch.
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:01 pm

There is much less difference in footwork and blocking assignments between RT and RG then there is between C and either G position. The biggest issue is could he pull? If he can get that down, there shouldn’t be any issue.
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:11 am

Kyle Long is co-hosting Kap and Company on the radio and is dropping Bears nuggets left and right. Pure joy to listen to it you get the chance.

Regarding the OL, he's strongly of the opinion Whitehair is the center moving forward. Spoke highly of James Daniels but said he is one of the quietest guys on the team and they couldn't get him to yell the MIKE calls loud enough for everyone to hear.
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First 41 starts in NFL (updated weekly):

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crueltyabc
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:45 am

IE wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:14 pm
He had I think 12 or so snaps on O, (9 against Vikes) and upwards of 20-25 on ST. He was a ST guy basically.

It might be worth watching his 1-2 drives against the Vikes. I think I will.
I went back and watched in Gamepass. Look for "A. Bars reports as eligible" and you'll see 64 out there on the edge as an extra TE a la Brad Sowell 2018. Bars is completely unsuited for this role. He's way to slow and gets beat on literally every play except one blatant hold and the last one, which is the Monty give-up play before the winning (look HRS I got it right this time) field goal. I still don't know if he's a G but he sure as hell doesn't look like a T right now. And not a good plan to use him at TE.
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wab
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:49 am

crueltyabc wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:45 am
IE wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:14 pm
He had I think 12 or so snaps on O, (9 against Vikes) and upwards of 20-25 on ST. He was a ST guy basically.

It might be worth watching his 1-2 drives against the Vikes. I think I will.
I went back and watched in Gamepass. Look for "A. Bars reports as eligible" and you'll see 64 out there on the edge as an extra TE a la Brad Sowell 2018. Bars is completely unsuited for this role. He's way to slow and gets beat on literally every play except one blatant hold and the last one, which is the Monty give-up play before the winning (look HRS I got it right this time) field goal. I still don't know if he's a G but he sure as hell doesn't look like a T right now. And not a good plan to use him at TE.
Yeah, he didn't look good.
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dplank
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:09 am

We definitely can't count on Bars heading in to 2020. Certainly possible he'll be a decent player, but there's no way to project that at this point. After hearing Kyle Long talk about how bad he played last year, I am coming around to the thought that solving RG with a solid player will provide enough lift to Massie at RT that he returns to 2018 play (but then I remind myself that we saw improvement when Lucas stepped in). I don't friggin know, all I know is that the Bears haven't had a great OL since the 80's except maybe our 2006 super bowl team. I desperately want one here, it's really hard to have any consistency on offense without one.
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:26 am

I want to see more commitment to the running game and less misdirection, but they have to focus on fixing the right side. Leno, Daniels and Whitehair are mobile enough to run a zone scheme. They have a hole at RG. Coward is tough, but plays too high with a narrow base. He was put on the field way too early in his development. This CBA really hampers developing OL. They get Massie back healthy so he's adequate, but not real mobile blocking in space. They have no good inline Y TE for when they want to go strong side R. That must be a priority in FA since most college TEs struggle as rookie blockers. I would put a premium on toughness and mobility in rebuilding the right side this offseason.

It would help Trubisky immensely to improve the running and PA game. So Nagy better get the message.
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:50 am

G08 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:11 am
Kyle Long is co-hosting Kap and Company on the radio and is dropping Bears nuggets left and right. Pure joy to listen to it you get the chance.

Regarding the OL, he's strongly of the opinion Whitehair is the center moving forward. Spoke highly of James Daniels but said he is one of the quietest guys on the team and they couldn't get him to yell the MIKE calls loud enough for everyone to hear.
Damn, who knew Daniels voice box was his weakest trait.

Is there a real reason the center makes all the calls? Just cuz he's central to both sides? I seem to recall they had Slausson make the line calls from his G spot several years ago...

Either way, would be great if Whitehair could just clean up his snaps.
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crueltyabc
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:55 am

I don't mind the misdirection because we have the right personnel for it (Trubisky when healthy, Cohen, Patterson, Burton when healthy) but I agree with the rest of this take.
Drone7 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:26 am
They have no good inline Y TE for when they want to go strong side R. That must be a priority in FA since most college TEs struggle as rookie blockers. I would put a premium on toughness and mobility in rebuilding the right side this offseason.
The Bears don't have the personnel to run zone plays to the right because Long got hurt and Shaheen never learned to block... or do anything really. Bars couldn't do Sowell things and I guess Sowell couldn't either.
Drone7 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:26 am
Coward is tough, but plays too high with a narrow base. He was put on the field way too early in his development.
I thought he mirrored well and looked decent in space so maybe he's more of a tackle prospect?

As for the Daniels doesn't have a loud voice stuff:
How did he do it in college? Seems implausible but whatever. Long was talking like the Bears can't just add a (sufficiently loud :roll: ) center in draft or FA. Whitehair doesn't HAVE to play guard.
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wab
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:16 pm

crueltyabc wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:55 am
Drone7 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:26 am
Coward is tough, but plays too high with a narrow base. He was put on the field way too early in his development.
I thought he mirrored well and looked decent in space so maybe he's more of a tackle prospect?
Funny you mention that. Sometimes when I'd watch him I'd think "man that guy is trying to play tackle at right guard".
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IE
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:20 pm

Interesting on Bars in the vikes game-thanks. Funny they were using him in that way. Not surprising with these offensive "gurus", but it would seem they were intentionally emphasizing or testing his weaknesses (per draft scouting I've seen). SMH

Perhaps the greatest need at TE is for an in line blocking guy. I personally look at Holtz as a FB/Hback. A poor man's version of Juszczyk. And I personally think that trying to find that guy that can do it all (e.g. Kittle) more often than not leads down the path of having guys out there that really can't do any one thing at the level you'd like.

I agree that Coward might have been forced out there prematurely, because of Long falling apart. Bortz got an entire off season and season developing before he stepped in for Noah Jackson. It's a big transition. .. otherwise it would be far more common.

Ok I've given up on Bars as a forecasted potential starter, and will just hope he surprises with the new OL coaching regime. So my top preference is picking up a FA like Glasgow and letting Coward and Bars fight for the backup spot. I do agree that a stable guy at RG would probably bring Massie back up to spec. Leno is the wild card. Is he the highly serviceable zero penalty guy from '18? Or the guy from '19?
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crueltyabc
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:25 pm

Ok he was apparently training to play RT. I wonder if we're clever scouts or just remembered this in the back of our minds :)

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/b ... story.html
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wab
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:27 pm

crueltyabc wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:25 pm
Ok he was apparently training to play RT. I wonder if we're clever scouts or just remembered this in the back of our minds :)

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/b ... story.html
I'm going with clever scouts.
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G08
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:19 pm

wab wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:27 pm
crueltyabc wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:25 pm
Ok he was apparently training to play RT. I wonder if we're clever scouts or just remembered this in the back of our minds :)

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/b ... story.html
I'm going with clever scouts.
We've got some sharp eyes on this board
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First 41 starts in NFL (updated weekly):

Drew Brees: 61.2% | 8261 yards | 52 TDs | 37 INTs | 6.60 YPA | 82.2 rating

Mitch Trubisky: 63.4% | 8554 yards | 48 TDs | 29 INTs | 6.7 YPA | 85.8 rating
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:06 pm

crueltyabc wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:45 am
Bars is completely unsuited for this role. He's way to slow and gets beat on literally every play except one blatant hold and the last one, which is the Monty give-up play before the winning (look HRS I got it right this time) field goal.
:thumbsup:
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:26 pm

8-)
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Yogi da Bear
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:02 pm

Count me as one completely against spending a bunch of money for a top flight OG in free agency. First, I'm not sold that any of the free agent guard are worth that kind of money. Second, I think that the interior offensive line is the strong point in this draft. We can find somebody who can step in and contribute immediately there. And third, we really, really need a TE who can contribute immediately, and I think we're only going to be able to find that in free agency.

Watching the college all star games, I thought that interior offensive line play was the strength of the seniors coming out. Hell, and I don't think that you need to look any further than those guys from Michigan to determine that. In fact, I thought that Bredeson could have been named the MVP of the Senior Bowl had anybody chosen to recognize line play. And at the Shrine game, with Michigan OT Jon Runyan (yes the son of THAT Jon Runyan) switching to guard and OG Michael Onwenu, I thought the East's offensive line was dominating. I would love any of those guys (Bredeson in the second or either of those two in the later rounds). I also really liked LSU guard Damien Lewis.

Personally, I think we should move Daniels back to center. I don't know where you guys are getting these offensive line rankings (PFF maybe? :frustrated:--just shoot me), but I didn't see his guard play as all that at all. I think that if he doesn't make it as a center, he's got to be considered a failed draft pick. But if you think you want to leave Daniels at Guard, Whitehair is most certainly NOT the answer at center. If you want to go that direction though, I really liked Cushenberry from LSU at the Senior Bowl.

In the end, I think we can get an offensive guard who can start immediately from this draft. I didn't see the same from the tight end position. Oh, I saw some developmental talent at TE, but I didn't see anybody who I felt comfortable handing off the position to immediately. We desperately need a TE who can come in and take over immediately. Let's spend our money in free agency there.
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:37 pm

Interesting post, Yogi.

I disagree with you about Daniels because he had recognition problems at center on pickups and was replaced by Whitehair to good effect. Whitehair is a good center and his main problem--long-snapping seemed to improve this stint. I believe they should keep him there since he knows the O and Trubisky has confidence with his play and input on pickups. Daniels is still only 22 so he doesn't need to be rushed along and moved back and forth. It will be interesting to see what Castillo says (and does)

Athough I don't know anything about the college TE prospects, you seem to have watched many block without being impressed. I have seen very few college TEs come into the league and fill the Y spot well as rookies, and I have seen many come into the league at RG and hit the ground running, so I agree with your plan.

Question: I have noticed over the years that few OL can play both sides well. They tend to be better on one side or the other, whether talking about OTs or Gs. Swing tackles or guards are hard to find, and thus are valuable. Are there draft prospects that have played well on both sides?

But I would be satisfied if they just found a good (drafted) RG and a durable vet Y TE that can block well and make the routine catch underneath.

Kills me watching Kittle and Shaheen so far. Pro GMs and scouts aren't as savvy as some believe them to be.
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Yogi da Bear
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:45 pm

I agree with you on offensive linemen switching sides. I think it's because that generally, not as a rule mind you, but generally speaking, lefties tend to play better on the left side while righties play better on the right. I think it's because it helps to have your stronger arm protecting your outside shoulder. But it also depends on what you're looking for. Onwenu for instance is strictly a power RG. But I think both Runyan and Bredeson could play RG in our inside zone system. Hell, Runyan impressed at LG after only a week of practice. And Bredeson I think is good enough to play either position. I still like my power guys though as I saw Onwenu simply destroy the middle linebacker on one TD in the Shrine Game.

I thought the best blocking TEs at the Shrine Game were Deguara from Cincinnati and Bryant from Florida Atlantic, but looking at their season tape they were both hit and miss and not really in line guys. I didn't see any TEs who could step in and immediately contribute. Eli Wolfe from Georgia made a receiving appearance in the Shrine game after basically catching nothing all season, but again, his blocking was hit and miss. There's certainly no Hockenson or Fant in this draft. We need a free agent TE. I'm hoping for Hooper, but I'll settle for Henry, Ebron, or even Olsen or Eifert for the right money.

Incidentally, I called for BOTH Mahomes and Kittle from that draft in my Picnic Basket that year. :frustrated:
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:20 pm

--
Last edited by Drone7 on Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:36 pm

Drone7 wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:20 pm
Thanks, good point about a dominant arm on the outside shoulder which is even more important for OTs, but I think it has more to do with footwork: the first couple or few steps . After all, many right-handers play on the left side.

I've read OL that have been forced to switch sides, both at G and especially at OT have said that their (foot) routines get "confused" setting up on different techniques. Comfort/discomfort with footwork causes execution (or lack) not just hand placement factors. Interestingly, Sitton spent his first few years at RG in GB before getting switched to LG there. So he was able to play both. Whitehair played both sides at both G and T in college, and amazingly was able to pick up C late in his first training camp with the Bears even though he struggled with long-snapping. I like to see versatility in college OL. A guy like Massie has only been a RT for his whole college and pro career, so it limits what he can do.

What do you think of FA TE Vannett? Haven't seen him block in the pros, but read he's a decent blocker and would come comparatively cheap. Not convinced Hooper will make it to market or Henry. Henry is good but has durability concerns. And Eifert is flat out brittle--he will wind up on IR.

Thanks for the scouting report. Too bad Pace didn't read your picnic basket. ;)
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Yogi da Bear
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:34 pm

I think that Vannett is a decent #2 TE, but he's not a #1 guy. There's a reason that Seattle traded him as third round pick for a fifth rounder. For my money though, I'd rather have Greg Olsen. But you're right, Henry, Eiffert, and even Olsen and Ebron are all injury concerns. That's all the more reason I want Hooper, even overpay for Hooper.

The TE is so absolutely critical in Nagy's offense. Imagine KC without Kelce or Philly without Ertz. Hell, look at what we paid Burton, 8 mill per for somebody who was never more than a second TE afterthought. This also tells you why we can afford to overpay for somebody like Hooper as he would play an absolutely critical role for us and after this year, we'll be releasing Burton's 8 mill (next year his dead cap space is only 1.5 mill). Do you think that Atlanta will be willing to pay Hooper more than 10 mill per? I don't, but I think that we will. Especially if we aren't trying to sign free agent guards or tackles to lucrative deals.

Incidentally, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Matt Milano, and Bug Howard were also part of that Picnic Basket. :frustrated: :frustrated:
Drone7
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:59 pm

I believe they can find a U TE in this draft to replace Burton in 2021...that's what you're referring to--a TE that can be moved around, inside or outside like Kelce and Ertz...Shaheen is mostly an inline Y but he's been moved outside occasionally. Interestingly, Nagy mentioned KC used 3 TEs more often when they were running the ball a lot in the not-too-distant past.

So I would like to see a draftee platooned at U with Burton and perhaps Horsted in 2020, with a blocking vet FA competing with dumbo Shaheen at Y. Sure, I would like to have Hooper, and I've seen that 10M per bandied about, but I haven't seen him play enough to feel comfortable paying such a big contract--not sure what the guarantee and structure would be? Occasionally, big FA contracts work out like ARob's did, but they make me nervous for a mediocre team with several question marks. Sometimes, waiting for the bargain days in FA, going for multiple patches is better.
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Yogi da Bear
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:44 am

I don't have a problem waiting for bargain hunting days in FA, especially after the calculations for comp picks have already accrued. It's why I recommended NOT pursuing a FA guard (or even tackle). The only prime time FA I would pursue is TE.

That's because of how important the position is to the Nagy offense and the dearth of talent there in the draft. How important the position is can be seen by how hard Pace went after Burton first and then drafting Shaheen in the second, as well as carrying how many TEs on our roster every year? We HAVE to get a prime time TE in free agency, and if I have to I'd settle for Olsen, but my first take is Hooper. Every other position I think can wait for us.

Incidentally, an intriguing U TE for me is Colby Parkinson from Stanford. The guy's big at 6'7", but he basically played WR at UCLA. His blocking most certainly needs work, a lot of it. But while working on that, we can certainly use him in red zone situations. He's a junior who could be had later in the draft I think. I really believe we need focus on our OL early in the draft, unless somebody really spectacular falls into our lap.
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Re: 2020 Free Agency Discussion: OL

Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:24 pm

I agree with Yogi on multiple points here.

I was not overly sold by Daniels play this last year. And I really liked the LSU Center during Senior Bowl week (hopefully I will have more on that later)

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