James Daniels Jersey

Plenty of thought went into the Bears’ decision to flip-flop James Daniels and Cody Whitehair on the offensive line after Whitehair had his best season at center last year, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

But line coach Harry Hiestand boiled down the move in simple terms.

“James is a natural center,” Hiestand said. “Cody became a center when he came to Chicago. James is more natural in there. It’s his best position. He can be special. It’s where he is most comfortable and Cody can do both.”

The switch gives the Bears the luxury of having an experienced backup center in the starting lineup as 44 of Whitehair’s 48 starts over the last three seasons have come at the position. He was at his best last year, a season after the Bears moved him around as injuries forced changes. Whitehair made two starts at left guard, 12 starts at center and two starts at right guard. Settling into one position last season, Whitehair worked through shotgun snapping issues over the summer and had a fine season, finishing with only three penalties after being called for 13 in his first two seasons.

Now, he’s at left guard, a position he likely would have played as a second-round pick in 2016 if the Bears had a better option at center. The switch is in the exploratory stage during OTAs but is not expected to be reversed.

“It just fits James,” Hiestand said. “Cody was forced to play center. All Cody wants to do is help the Bears win. It was a decision we made as a staff and as soon as we approached him about it, he was ready to go.”

Daniels, also a second-round pick, arrived last year with a glowing recommendation from Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, a former line coach in the NFL whose program routinely produces high-caliber linemen. Ferentz called Daniels “probably the most gifted center I have ever been around as far as the tools to be a center, including my six years in the NFL.” That makes it easy to understand why the Bears believe Daniels has the ability to become one of the NFL’s elite centers.

The challenge this spring is for Daniels to master communication with quarterback Mitch Trubisky. He’s making calls and checks at the line of scrimmage, which will take time.

“James, he’s very smart, so the transition’s been very easy for him so far,” Trubisky said. “I would say the only difference this year is that I’m finally hearing him talk. He didn’t talk much last year. So having him at center, we talk a lot more off the field and on the field as well. Hearing him make calls. Just that constant communication back and forth. It’s been great. … It comes easy to him and obviously he played it in college, so it’s been a natural switch and it’s been going really well.”

Daniels moves well for a center, so it’s possible the change will help the running game, especially when he works combination blocks and climbs to the next level. The Bears will get a better idea of that during training camp when the pads go on.

The switch has been seamless for Whitehair, who has more experience at guard than Daniels.

“They said we would try it out and that’s what we’re doing,” Whitehair said. “It’s been a smooth transition. Both James and I feel comfortable in those positions. We both have the same attitude.”

Dan Hampton Jersey

The Roe Conn Show w/Anna Davlantes for Friday, May 24th, 2019:
WGN-TV’s Demetrius Ivory forecasts a wet Memorial Day, Lauren Lapka lays out a whole list of things to do for the holiday weekend, automotive expert/co-host of “His Turn-Her Turn” Paul Brian talks about the 103rd running for the Indianapolis 500, Hall-of-Fame Chicago Bear Dan Hampton looks at the Bears Centennial Top 100 List & the Bears100 Celebration Weekend, the Top [email protected] features Jamie Foxx having fun on live television during the live-action presentation of ‘The Jeffersons,’ Mackenzie DeVito from No Bones Beach Club rolls out a vegan #CanarbleWagon, and The Long Lost performs for LIVE Music Friday.

Richard Dent Jersey

The NFL Draft has never been an exact science. There have been No. 1 overall picks who go on to be major busts, while undrafted players have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers. Back when Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Richard Dent entered the 1983 NFL Draft he was taken with the 203rd overall selection. He went on to put together a stellar career with the organization despite being a late-round selection.

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso recently ranked the top 100 value draft picks and a total of five Bears selections made the list. The highest spot on the list went to Dent at No. 12.

He played with the Bears between 1983 and 1993 before a one-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994. He returned to the Bears for the 1995 season before spending his final two years in the league with the Indianapolis Colts and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XX, was a four-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro. Dent also led the NFL in sacks during the 1985 season.

Following an average first season in the league in 1983, Dent came into his own in his second year in 1984. He ended that season with 17.5 sacks before recording 17 sacks the following year. He racked up 11.5 sacks in 1986 and 12.5 sacks in 1987. The 1988 season saw him record 10.5 sacks followed by nine sacks in 1989. He recorded 12 sacks in 1990, 10.5 sacks in 1991, 8.5 sacks in 1992 and 12.5 sacks in 1993. Dent ended his NFL career with 137.5 sacks and 124.5 of them came during his 12 seasons with the Bears.

Other Bears on the list included quarterback/placekicker George Blanda at No. 28, offensive lineman Dan Fortmann at No. 30, offensive lineman Stan Jones at No. 39 and linebacker Mike Singletary at No. 67.

Blanda began his career with the Bears in 1949. He remained with the Bears through the 1958 season. A quarterback and placekicker, Blanda threw for 5,936 yards with 49 touchdowns and 70 interceptions during his time with the Bears. Most of his recognition came when he was playing for the Houston Oilers and later for the Oakland Raiders. He played an NFL record 26 seasons and retired after the 1975 season. He was later named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Fortmann is another Hall of Famer for the Bears organization. A ninth-round pick in 1936, Fortmann played his entire career with the Bears between 1936 and 1943. He ended his run with the team with three NFL championships, three Pro Bowl nods and was a seven-time All-Pro. He was also a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 1930s.