Chicago Bears: 3 overlooked players to watch against Bengals

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Guard Rashaad Coward

If you don’t yet know who Rashaad Coward is, that’s perfectly fine. Not many people have known about him for a while, so he’s used to it. Coming out of high school, he had one offer to play college football — Old Dominion.

Obviously, Ryan Pace loves himself some smaller school gems. Pace took a chance on Coward as an undrafted free agent in 2017, but coming into the NFL, he played nose tackle. Fast forward to this spring after Coward spent most of last year on the practice squad, and head coach Matt Nagy made a decision: Coward would be moving to guard.

Coward is 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, so right off the bat you notice he has incredible size to add to the depth of this offensive line. In his first preseason action this year against the Ravens, Coward was the main standout up front. While Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray didn’t quite enjoy the cleanest of pockets from the Bears’ backups, Coward was easy to pick out.

Still, Coward isn’t talked about much outside of some of the more die-hard Bears fans out there. Against the Ravens, I didn’t notice a single snap where Coward was noticeably out of place or didn’t do his job. He could end up being a sneaky-good depth piece for the Bears should a starter like Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair or James Daniels get hurt.

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My hope is that Coward gets ample playing time against the Bengals, due to his standout performance against Baltimore. If he follows up with another solid game, I wouldn’t be surprised if Coward was a lock to make this team — if he’s not already.