The Chicago Bears are trying to find their offensive identity under head coach Matt Nagy. He’d wanted it to go through the quarterback position with Mitch Trubisky. A logical goal given the importance of the position. However, that push sank into the mud and never got out in 2019. Now Nagy has to wonder if it might be better for him to embrace a little more “Bears football.” That means running the ball with more consistency. Could this be a reason they signed Germain Ifedi?
Casual fans have probably heard about Ifedi mostly through the incessant complaints from Seattle Seahawks fans. They accuse the former 1st round pick of being a penalty machine who struggled way too often in pass protection as a right tackle. GM Ryan Pace though believes those criticisms won’t apply to his time in Chicago because they plan to move him inside to guard. A position the man himself always felt he fit best. There his mobility would be less of an issue and he could maximize his greatest strength.
Ifedi is a big boy and it shows whenever he decides to use it in the running game. There aren’t a lot of defensive players he can’t move out of the way. Even Seattle fans admit that. This is what the Bears need and are looking for.
Germain Ifedi could be the next Roberto Garza for the Bears
Anybody who has fond memories of Bears history will remember the name Roberto Garza. Back in the mid-2000s, Lovie Smith was intent on re-establishing the offense around a run-oriented attack under Ron Turner. The team hadn’t placed in the top 15 for years. To do it they needed big blockers with proven credentials who could do the job. One of their notable signings was Garza, fresh off a four-year stint in Atlanta.
While few knew his name, he’d been a key component of the Falcons’ #1 ranked running game in 2004. Some wondered if he could have a significant impact in Chicago. That season the Bears finished 8th in rushing with Thomas Jones topping 1,300 yards. Sometimes it’s the smaller moves that end up having the greater impact.
Considering Ifedi is bigger and stronger than Roberto was, his chances of having similar success aren’t crazy at all. It comes down to whether Nagy makes a concerted effort to actually run the ball. Something that was a persistent problem throughout 2019.