The hunt for offensive linemen continues for the Chicago Bears as they try to find a workable unit that can protect their franchise quarterback. Is Jermon Bushrod of the New Orleans Saints a reachable target?
Chilo Rachal switch over Chris Spencer shows J'Marcus Webb not safe
J'Marcus Webb should count himself a lucky man. If he weren't the only credible lineman on the Bears roster that can play left tackle it has become clear he would have found the bench. That wasn't the case for left guard Chris Spencer. Like Webb he had to fight for his roster spot but the key difference was Chicago had reserves who could take his place. Things didn't start well for him. A bad preseason showed his inexperience playing on the left side (he was right guard last year and a center in Seattle). He followed that with two pitiful showings against the Colts and Packers. Offensive coÃ¶rdinator Mike Tice is new to his job too but like any good coach knows when something isn't working. So he kicked off week three by sending Spencer to the bench in favor of free agent pickup Chilo Rachal. A 26-year-old guard, he spent his first three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Though he did struggle at times Rachal earned high grades out of the draft despite coming out of college early because of family issues. His mother and father both were in need of medical support. Many experts say another year in college would have made Rachal a high first round pick. Whether Tice can do something with him is a question that won't get answered for a while. In the meantime the move should put Webb on notice that he better pick up his game, otherwise the Bears might go out to find help.
Bushrod struggles can become NFL sacrifice to help Saints defense
One team that has also struggled early on is the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees has looked like a different quarterback without head coach Sean Payton but a bigger worry is the defense. Not only does the unit lack help in their front seven but their overall speed has looked horrible. In two games they have given up 75 points to two quarterbacks with a joint experience of just over a year. Part of the problem is a gaping hole in their defensive line that can neither stop the run nor rush the passer. On the other side the Saints have issues at offensive tackle. Pro Bowler Jermon Bushrod has struggled recently, allowing two bad pressures on Brees that nearly got the quarterback injured. It's hard to see which problem is a bigger concern. Protecting Brees is key but it won't matter if the defense can't stop anybody. Bushrod also is a free agent in 2013. That is where the Bears come in. Bushrod, for his faults is a clear upgrade over J'Marcus Webb. The Chicago defense has a defensive line packed with veteran experience. Together the group has gotten eight sacks and not allowed a 100-yard rusher. New Orleans could easily get one or two to help their defensive front in exchange for Bushrod.
Chilo Rachal could become just the beginning of change on the Chicago Bears offensive line. They already made one big trade for a wide receiver. If the New Orleans Saints keep falling apart on defense, they might surrender Jermon Bushrod for help.
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