The Chicago Bears offensive line took a beating from fans and the media last season. This shouldn’t be a surprise. When an offense finishes 29th in the NFL for a season, odds are the blocking is going to be a central focus of frustration. Pass protection was leaky but the run blocking was a true sight of horror. David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen almost always seemed to have defenders in their face before they even reached the line of scrimmage. Perhaps the two men who endured the most flak were tackles Charles Leno and Bobby Massie.
After both of them had strong showings in 2018, their regressions last year were impossible to miss. It led many to think that both were actually bad and they just happened to have a decent year. However, Pro Football Focus has come to the defense of Massie. Their writer Ben Linsey argues that while the big veteran isn’t always great, he does have one thing going in his favor.
When the Bears have needed him in crunch time, he always delivers.
“Massie missed several games last season with injury and put up a 63.2 grade in total, but he graded out better than any other qualifying right tackle in the fourth quarter and overtime of one-score games. Even then, his performance in pass protection was serviceable rather than stellar. Actually, it was the several nice blocks that moved defenders on double teams in the run game that boosted his overall grade to the top of the top right tackle position.
Next year is a big opportunity for Massie to show that he can be an above-average starter on that Chicago offensive line, capable of marrying the improved pass protection he showed in 2018 with the run-game ability he has flashed at times throughout his career.”
Bobby Massie can still play good football if healthy
Nobody is saying Massie is a star, but then again he doesn’t have to be. The Bears just need good enough. He should be healthy again in 2020. His return coupled with the possible starting of Germain Ifedi at right guard does do one thing. It opens up the possibility of reinvigorating the run game. Massie is a punishing run blocker and Ifedi showed he could be as well in spurts during his time in Seattle. Both are big, strong, and nimble for their size.
If Matt Nagy does commit to the ground attack more this year, then those two will be key. If nothing else, it’s nice to know Massie always makes sure to deliver his best when the Bears need it. If they want to make a run this year, that is the type of play they will need. Not just from him but the rest of the offense in general.