Every year in the NFL is a different team and for the Chicago Bears, 2021 has been much different than most expected. After an up-and-down start to the regular season, Chicago opted to make changes on offense. Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton was benched in favor of rookie Justin Fields while offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was dubbed as the primary playcaller, taking duties from head coach Matt Nagy.
Switching to Lazor and Fields has given the Bears new life. No longer are the Bears are dink and dunk offense each week. Over the last two games, the Bears have been running the ball consistently, employing a run-first philosophy. This shift in offensive philosophy has the Bears’ offensive line playing more physically, dominating opponents at the point of attack.
“You could just tell the mentality changed throughout the team in practice, meetings, and then everything’s translated over into games,” said offensive lineman Cody Whitehair. “I like where we’re at right now and we just got to keep it going moving forward.”
The undisputed leader of the offensive line, Whitehair and right guard James Daniels are the only remaining pieces that were on the 2018 Bears, a team that featured a solid offensive line, A unit that struggled over the last two seasons has quickly stabilized itself and hopes to turn into a strength for the Bears moving forward.
“Guys just coming out to practice and wanting, the coaching wanting to get better, the relentless effort to try and get things right,” said Whitehair.
On paper, one would look at Chicago’s offensive line and assume it’s a unit that is still learning how to play together. However, the numbers speak for themselves. On offense, Chicago averaged 4.2 yards per play against the Las Vegas Raiders in week 5 and controlled the line of scrimmage, allowed just two sacks. The Bears are quickly turning into a more physical brand of football which should cater to the offenses’ strengths as the weather continues to change over the next two months in the Windy City.