We still don’t know exactly when the Chicago Bears will take the practice field for the first time in 2020. But whenever it happens, competition will be the buzzword that weaves its way through almost every storyline. And, yes, it will start at the quarterback position. But it won’t stop there.
A nugget from ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson:
Bears GM Ryan Pace envisions newly signed OL Germain Ifedi bumping inside to guard. Ifedi played both tackle and guard for the Seahawks.
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) April 3, 2020
Bears GM Ryan Pace laid out his vision for free agent signing Germain Ifedi to move from tackle to guard in 2020. Pace would go on to add that Ifedi would be part of an open competition at the open right guard position.
Ifedi is a tackle by trade, but has experience at right guard, where he started as a rookie with the Seattle Seahawks in 2016. After cutting his teeth at guard in his first year as a pro, Ifedi was moved to right tackle where he spent the next three seasons. Ifedi missed just one game over the last three seasons, which is a testament to his durability and availability — two of his strengths. And while Ifedi was never a standout performer as a starting right tackle, the Bears clearly believe in his abilities enough to move him inside, and in new Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo’s teachings to get the most out of him.
Last season, Kyle Long, Rashaad Coward, and Ted Larsen spent time manning the position. As things currently stand, Coward and Ifedi figure to rejoined by reserve lineman Alex Bars, and possibly a draft pick to be named later when the competition ultimately begins. Ifedi has a first-round pedigree and some desirable skills as a blocker, which could give him a leg up in the competition. But I won’t even think about handicapping that race until after the NFL Draft comes and goes, as another body could soon join the mix.