Mike Tice, the former Minnesota Vikings head coach joined the Bears staff this offseason to coach the offensive line.
The Bears offensive line is a mixed with a lot of young players, but their are a still a couple of solid veterans showing them the ropes.
Every position on the line is set except the left guard position. The left guard position is wide open. Veterans Kevin Shaffer and Josh Beekman are the favorites, but second year pros Lance Louis and Johan Asiata have a shot.
Tice also said he would like to give 7th round pick J’Marcus Webb some reps at left guard.
Mike Tice says Louis and Asiata have been very impressive in practice so far.
Here’s what Tice had to say about the young lineman, Louis and Asiata:
“Really pleased with how things have gone to this point with the group. The offensive line group has got a lot of talent; got a lot of young guys in the room who have the ability to play at this level. [I’m] really, really pleased with their progress to this point; most notably Johan Asiata and Lance Louis have really stepped it up as young players and showed me that they have the ability and the maturity to play at this level sooner than later.”
Tice really likes Asiata, here’s what he had to say about him specifically:
“We know what Kevin Shaffer is, and we know that Kevin is an important part of what we’re putting together because of his ability to back up four positions, but I think Asiata earned the right to get a deep, long, long look.
“(Asiata) just needs to continue to grow, just continue to grow with the pace that he’s growing. Hopefully when it’s all said and done, he’s right there in the mix.”
The 6’4″, 310 lb Johan Asiata was a two year starter for the UNLV Rebels. His junior year he started every game at right tackle and his senior season he spent every game but one at left guard. Asiata should find a spot on the roster if he shows coaches why he belongs.
Its always good to have solid depth behind the starters. The reason the Bears didn’t draft a lot of lineman in the draft was probably because they have young guys in Lance Louis and Johan Asiata waiting in the wings.
The 6’3″, 300 lb Lance Louis was a four year starter at San Diego State University. He appeared in 39 games (19 starts), 20 games as a right guard and 19 games as a tight end. He ran a 4.76 40 yard dash at the NFL combine a couple years ago, that’s pretty impressive for a guy that size.
NFL.com had this to say about him when he was entering the NFL Draft in 2009:
“His combination of speed and strength impress teams despite his lack of experience on the line. Louis is a bit reminiscent of San Diego Chargers fullback/tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, so some teams may consider using him in a similar role because of his blocking and receiving skills.”
Lets hope these guys can pan out because it could be prove to be a big mistake if they don’t. This draft was filled with lots of solid lineman and I’m sure the Bears thought about drafting another linemen. Anyway Lance Louis and Johan Asiata might impress enough coaches to show they are ready to start this season. Beekman hasn’t been very great over the last couple seasons and Shaffer was pretty bad last season, but he played right tackle, not left guard.
Will have to wait and see who starts at left guard, it should be a good competition. The offensive line shouldn’t be the biggest area of concern for the Bears.
The cornerback position should be because of the lack of depth. Check back soon for my take on the Bears cornerbacks.