The Chicago Bears offense took a major step forward against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over a week ago. It was the first sign the system and the players were starting to click. Mitch Trubisky was the big story with his six touchdown passes. However, the improvement was everywhere. The wide receivers were getting open constantly. Tarik Cohen was giving the defense fits. Trey Burton had two big plays.
Yet the biggest improvement may have been up front. The offensive line was dominant on the day. They allowed just three total pressures on Trubisky all afternoon, shutting down what was a pretty talented Buccaneers defensive line. It was also a momentous day because it became the first action for the teams’ 2nd round draft pick, James Daniels.
Fans have wondered why the Iowa product hadn’t gotten the starting job at left guard after a strong showing in preseason. Offensive line coach Harry Hiestand explained they didn’t feel he was up to their level of expectation in handling complex stunts and blitzes that pro defenses tend to throw. So he waited. Then again Tampa he finally got in the game, alternating series with starter Eric Kush.
Based on recent developments, that role could soon expand.
#Bears Wednesday Injury Report:
DNP: Cooper Sr. (hamstring)
Limited: Amukamara (hamstring), Kush (neck)
Full: Miller (shoulder)
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) October 10, 2018
Bears offense could see Daniels starting at guard for injured Kush
The fact that Kush is not practicing in full even after a week off is significant. Neck injuries are always dangerous to deal with. If nothing changes leading up to the game, it could be the prime opportunity for the Bears to insert Daniels. Many says months ago the team had gotten a steal in the 21-year old, feeling he had 1st round talent.
He certainly showed that kind of promise against the Bucs.
James Daniels showed everything you would want to see in his first action of the year. 27 snaps and looked really good. Pulled, got out in space on a screen, generated movement & got hip to hip on doubles, and got a pancake. #Hiestand has him ready to go: pic.twitter.com/NOsZ4v8xCN
— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) October 2, 2018
If Kush isn’t 100% healthy, why not give Daniels a chance to prove he’s ready to claim the job? It’s apparent to everybody it will be his eventually. Besides, his style of play could actually be a benefit to the offensive line. Daniels is a quality run blocker and the Bears haven’t had the greatest success running off the left side over the first quarter of the season.
Daniels showed in his limited action that he could get a significant push from that guard spot. He also didn’t allow a single pressure too. This kid is ready to play. All he needs is the green light. The next couple days should reveal a lot.