One of the most exciting players to watch for the Chicago Bears during the 2021 regular season, center Sam Mustipher quietly started seven games for the Bears in 2020, quickly showcasing why he’s ready to become a key part of the Bears offensive line for years to come. Chicago has lacked a consistent presence at the center position since the franchise cut ties with Olin Kreutz in 2010.
Entering year three, the starting job at center is Mustipher’s to lose. Centers can be considered the quarterbacks of the offensive line and for someone who’s developing into a leader for the Bears, the former undrafted free agent knows what the Bears offensive line must do to become a top unit in 2021.
“Offensive line is a unique position in that five guys have to be on the same page on every single snap,” said Mustipher via the Bears official Youtube channel. “Anytime you get the opportunity to work together as a unit and build that cohesion overtime, it takes reps, it takes plays, it takes a lot of work, a lot of time.”
Over the last three seasons, one key issue for the Bears under head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears have struggled to find any sort of chemistry on the offensive line, which has impacted offensive production. Heading into 2021, with one new starter at left tackle in OT Teven Jenkins, the hope is that the Bears’ offensive line gels quickly enough to where a top unit emerges.
“There’s a lot of time and effort that we put into building a relationship and building trust within the unit so we’re seeing things through one set of eyes,” said Mustipher.
For Mustipher, a simple formula exists: The quicker the Bears offensive line gels, the better the entire offense can perform. As Chicago continues to prepare for the 2021 regular season, cohesion and chemistry will be key for a unit that was overhauled during the offseason under the guidance of offensive line coach Juan Castillo.