One of my guilty pleasures during training camp is watching offensive linemen go at it against their counterparts on the defensive side of the ball. It is as pure as it gets on the football field. It’s man-to-man combat where size, strength, agility, and more come together with the clashing of shoulder pads. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.
So while there is an obvious focus elsewhere on the football field when things are going down at Bourbonnais, you can often find me checking out what’s going on with guys who will be in the trenches. And judging by the looks of things, there will be plenty of healthy competition.
#Bears roster update:
We have signed the following Reserve/Future player:
OL, Cornelius Lucas
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) January 23, 2019
The Chicago Bears announced the signing of offensive lineman Cornelius Lucas to a reserve/future contract. Lucas joins a group of linemen under contract in Chicago who could be potentially fighting for a spot on the back end of the roster (or at minimum, a place on the practice squad) that includes Willie Beavers, Dejon Allen, Rashaad Coward, and Bradley Sowell. Depth is good. But having depth along the offensive line is great.
Lucas is a 27-year-old swing tackle type who has 37 games of NFL experience, which includes eight starts. In addition to time spent with the Lions from 2014 to 2016, Lucas also played on the Rams (2017) and Saints (2018). The Kansas State product signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014, but was projected to be a late-round pick of that draft class because of his size (6-foot-8) and length (36-3/4″ arm length) with a combine-leading 88-1/8 inches. But because of a thin frame and marginal starting experience in college, Lucas was viewed as a work in progress. Lucky for him, a move to Chicago pairs him with Harry Hiestand, one of football’s best offensive line coaches.
“Exceptionally sized, underpowered, developmental positional wall-off blocker lacking ideal foot quickness to handle edge speed and the grit and toughness desired to match up vs. power. Needs to spend more time in the weight room and develop his core strength. Could be most ideally suited for a swing-backup-tackle role and has upside to be groomed, with traits better suited for the right side.”
Sounds exactly like the type of project Hiestand could mold into something more with a change of scenery. Here’s to seeing what can come with a new opportunity in Chicago.