Chicago Bears: 3 surprises coming out of Bengals game

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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James Daniels Chicago Bears
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Second string better than the first string

Alright, so I want to acknowledge a personal accomplishment before we go on. I’ve successfully worked both an N’Sync and Toto song reference into the post. But what was even more impressive than that feat, was the performance of the second string offensive line for the Bears.

While the first unit disappointed with a bad snap, a holding penalty, and missed block that almost got Trubisky killed, the second unit saved the day.

Before the game, I identified James Daniels getting time at the center position as something to keep an eye on. It was reported that he was getting time at the position in the week leading up to the game. In that piece, I also wondered if Daniels could supplant Whitehair as the starting center if he played well.

That question becomes more poignant this morning as Daniels clearly outperformed Whitehair. In fact, you would have thought Daniels had been playing center all training camp, and Whitehair was auditioning for the role. Daniels could not have played any better.

Another pleasant surprise last night, and frankly throughout the camp, has been the play of Rashaad Coward. The converted offensive tackle played defensive tackle at Old Dominion. The Bears saw something they liked in the 6-foot-5, 322-pound behemoth as well as some promise as an offensive lineman. Even more impressive is that he only started playing the position about four months ago.

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Not only that but when he initially made the switch, he started at guard. Last night, he was impressive from the right tackle position. We all know the Bears’ injury history — especially on the offensive line. So if Coward can develop into a quality depth piece this year, the Bears will take it. And with another year of seasoning under Harry Hiestand, he could be the starting right tackle of the future.