The Chicago Bears have made seven waiver wire claims this past week. maybe ever. GM Ryan Pauls has made a clear statement that he’s not going to just sit around making this roster better. When he sees an opportunity, he jumps at it. The group had some exciting pickups. Defensively his tackle Armon Watts should quickly step up his rush of internal passes. The Ihmir Smith-Marsette is another high speed receiver with a return function. However, most of the talk centers around Alex Leatherwood.
That’s not surprising. The 17th overall pick from the 2021 draft was supposed to be a fixture in the Las Vegas Raiders. No one expected the team to claim him on waivers because of his hefty rookie contract. It was a surprise when the Bears scooped him up. Paul and head coach Matt Everfuls cited his size, power and athleticism as outstanding traits worth exploring.
According to Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed, NFL officials believe there’s another important reason.
“There are enough question marks on Chicago’s offensive line that Alex Leatherwood could get playing time this season. seems to be suitable for leatherwood than Las Vegas, according to league officials.”
2. Alex Leatherwood
Think about this. It was Tom Cable who was coaching him in Vegas.
Here are the total sacks his unit has abandoned since 2011.
The person in charge of overseeing the development of Leatherwood may have been wrong. #bears
— Eric Lambert (@ErikLambert1) September 2, 2022
Alex Leatherwood ticks three important boxes.
Luke Gettsey’s new wide zone offense requires an intelligent, athletic offensive lineman who can run blocks well. These were the strengths of Leatherwood dating back to its Alabama days. This system allows him to move and use that natural force to push defenders off the ball. That should make him more comfortable in no time. The tricky part for the Bears is finding ways to fix the flaws exposed last season.
It soon became apparent that Alex Leatherwood’s pass protection had a serious technical flaw. His hand fighting is very inconsistent, compounded by his bad tendency to slouch, making it easy for veteran pass rushers to throw him off balance. I didn’t do that. More than most tackles in the league, he always left him in one-on-one situations.
The big question is where the Bears plan to play him. They seem to be exploring both tackle and guard to find out where he is best suited. Las Vegas moved him indoors last October. After his rough first two months, he appeared to have calmed down a bit, aside from his one bad game against Denver in December. A bad start to his career is not uncommon. For a while, Leatherwood can be his NFL player capable.
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