The snapping issues that crept up a wee bit last season from Cody Whitehair have started to show up recently at Chicago Bears’ practice. The Bears are adamant that Whitehair is the present and future center of the team, but with highly touted rookie center James Daniels on the roster, it makes a lot of people wonder.
The Whitehair or Daniels at center or left guard topic has been broached recently by Jacob Infante, and you can read his take right here.
We recently had the opportunity to send a few questions over to Football Outsiders, and lucky us that we had Assistant Editor Scott Kacsmar share his thoughts with us.
Yesterday I asked him about Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy, and here’s today’s question...
WCG - Cody Withehair had a rough year in 2017 after playing superbly as a rookie, do you expect him to bounce back at center this season?
Football Outsiders - “Game charting from our partners at Sports Info Solutions actually had encouraging results for Whitehair. He had 14 blown blocks in 2017, which was the same number as his rookie year, though he did have 109 fewer snaps last year. Still, that’s fairly close, and he was working with a rookie quarterback (some bad snap exchanges at times) while also splitting time at guard. If he can focus more on just playing center while the rest of the line hopefully has better continuity than a year ago, then he should be able to improve in a better scheme. The Chiefs didn’t have talented linemen for Nagy, but that offense still worked well.”
If the Bears do keep him at center, like they claim they’ll do, then hopefully he can settle in and the snaps can improve. His shotgun snaps on Saturday night in the Denver game were all on the money.
For more of FO’s unique analysis be sure to pick up their annual Football Outsiders Almanac right here.