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Hot Take Tuesday: Center of Attention!

The incoherent ramblings of a belligerent Bears fan on our Hot Take Tuesday Thursday!

New York Jets v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

It’s Thursday, but we get a Hot Take Tuesday? Well what was I supposed to do, yell and scream on Tuesday before I had something to yell about? Well, now I do.

Dan Feeney?

Alright, here’s the problem folks. Dan Feeney is going to be the Chicago Bears starting center. Dan Feeney. Now the trade makes sense to me. I didn’t understand it. Why would you trade a sixth round pick for a guy stop-gap backup when you could find some younger talent as a waiver claim that you could possibly develop? You trade for him if you plan on having him start at center!

And I’m really starting to wonder if this isn’t just until Teven Jenkins gets back, I think this is your starting center for the 2023 year, baring an injury to Feeney. Don’t get me wrong. I love the mullet. I love his ability to chug suds. But starting center?

I thought Ryan Poles did a really good job filling as many holes as he could this year, except one: center. I said it in March. I said it in April. I said it in May. I said it in June. I said it in July. I said it in August. I’ll say it in September. Ignoring this position was a bad idea. There were affordable ways to get this covered throughout the offseason.

But Ryan Poles said, nah, we good, Cody Whitehair can play center again. Did Ryan Poles watch the same guy I did at the end of 2022? He couldn’t play guard, so let’s move him to center! I’ve said all along, I didn’t think Whitehair was the answer at center and the first opportunity they had, they moved him back to left guard. Now Teven Jenkins is out at least four weeks and when the media pushed the Bears on whether Whitehair would be the center when Jenkins returned, everyone has seemed really non-committal.

I have serious concerns about this offensive line. Darnell Wright is going to struggle early, all tackles do. I expect him to develop into a solid right tackle, but he’s not going to be there right out of the gate. Nate Davis hasn’t played since early December. Hopefully he’s a pro that can get back into the swing immediately, but there’s no guarantee there. He has had no time to develop chemistry with Wright, and now he has a new linemate to his left. You know my thoughts on Whitehair and finally Braxton Jones. Look, Jones had a really nice rookie year, but when he’s the lineman you are worried about the least, that’s a problem. Jones should be the 4th or 5th best lineman on a good line, and right now, he’s the Bears' best, or at least the most reliable.

I knew this line would be a bit of a mess without Jenkins, and that’s something everyone was waiting to happen, but I think even the most pessimistic of us didn’t expect that to be prior to week one.

You could make the argument that the Jones-Whitehair-Mustipher-Jenkins-Borom line of 2022 is going to be better than what the Bears have out there in 2023 against the Packers. If this year’s line is better, it isn’t by much. You all better cross every finger and toe that you have because I just don’t know how much this line has improved. And when you trade a sixth round pick for Dan Feeney less than two weeks before the season starts, I think Ryan Poles is starting to wonder too.

Quick Hits

  • Nathan Peterman was perfectly safe on the practice squad as QB3, so if he’s on the 53-man roster, does that mean he’s currently QB2 above Tyson Bagent?
  • I wish Trevis Gipson the best of luck in Tennessee, and I’m thrilled we no longer have to talk about him vs Rasheem Green.
  • How is it “only preseason” when players struggle, except for Rahseem Green who Bears fans want to run out of town? Let’s see him when the snaps matter before we pass judgment.
  • It’s just practice squad, and I know he’s 27 years old, but I wanted to see Daurice Fountain back on the squad, he earned it.
  • You notice that basically every starting Bear that left the team last year was basically released by the teams that signed them? That’s a sign of a bad roster.
  • What is the purpose of Velus Jones on this team? And if you say kick returner, just get out.
  • Why does Matt Eberflus hate pass rushers? Someone explain this to me like I was five.
  • Random thought: If you have a chance to draft a stud left tackle in the top ten next year, do you do it?
  • Can someone explain to me the Bears' approach at nose tackle? Like, why is Zacch Pickens playing there?
  • Real football is next. Bear down!