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Andrew Billings is built for power

We knew Andrew Billings was a powerful man, but we had no idea how powerful.

Screen grab from Chicago Bears Twitter

Earlier today, the Chicago Bears Tweeted out a video showing some of their defensive linemen going through pass rush drills. It featured, in order of appearance, rookie Gervon Dexter Sr., free agent acquisitions DeMarcus Walker and Andrew Billings, and the returning Jalyn Holmes.

Here's the clip, in case you missed it.

Fans are hungry for content this time of the offseason, and while I'm not about to break down the technique from the players — although Dexter quickly moving off the snap contradicts the narrative some have grasped onto — I am going to use that video as a jumping off point to look a little closer what Billings will bring to the Bears.

The signing itself was a bit surprising because his body type isn't the prototypical defensive lineman this regime has gone after. The Bears list him at 6'1", 311, which is what he checked in at his NFL Combine in 2016 before the Bengals drafted him in the fourth round out of Baylor. Many pundits had him with a day one or two grade, but size and scheme fit likely caused him to drop.

He missed his entire rookie season with a torn meniscus but bounced back nicely, appearing in 47 or a possible 48 games the next three years with 37 starts for the Bengals.

He signed with the Browns as a free agent in 2020 but opted out of that year due to Covid. He only played in six games in 2021 before Cleveland waived him. He went from the Dolphins practice squad to the Chiefs practice squad for the remainder of the '21 season before the Raiders signed him in 2022. His lone year in Las Vegas saw him regain his form, and he started all 14 games that he played in.

In all, Billings has 51 starts in 67 games while racking up 120 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and 15 quarterback hits. While he's a good athlete for his size, the Bears didn't sign him for his ability to chase down quarterbacks. The Bears inked him to help fix one of the worst run defenses in the league.

Earlier this month, our resident scout Greg Gabriel called Billings one of "the most underrated acquisitions this offseason," while writing that he's "excellent" against the run. He added that Billings "eats up blocks in the run game, never gives ground, and handles double teams like they were 1-on-1 blocks."

Gabriel also wrote about Billings' record-setting powerlifting high school numbers in Texas, so I took to Google to learn more about his feats of strength,

As an 18-year-old at Waco High School, Billings broke the powerlifting records of former Olympian Mark Henry. Pro wrestling fans will recognize that name as the "World's Strongest Man." Billings' record-setting Texas mark was 2,010 pounds which included an 805-pound squat, a 500-pound bench press, and a 705-pound deadlift.

If Billings has the power to push the middle of the pocket and draw some occasional double teams, that'll help keep blockers from being able to double other Chicago d-lineman, and it may also help delay a blocker from getting to the second level.

The Bears' front four is still a work in progress, and plenty of questions need to be answered, but it's also a much-improved group over what they had a year ago.