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Cody Whitehair Earns Spot On PFF’s Team of the Week At New Position – Is There Anything He Can’t Do?

Analysis and Commentary

The strength of the Chicago Bears offensive line is in the middle where – if healthy – the team boasts two Pro Bowl guards (Josh Sitton, Kyle Long) and a center (Cody Whitehair) worthy of consideration after a stellar rookie season.


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Indeed, for the second straight week, Whitehair’s performance at left guard didn’t go unnoticed by Pro Football Focus. In fact, with a 90.6 grade, the best among all offensive lineman, PFF included Whitehair on the site’s Preseason Week 3 Team of the Week.

Here is what Josh Lisiewitz had to say about how the center-turned-guard’s played against the Tennessee Titans:

“Whitehair surrendered one QB hurry, but otherwise was excellent in pass protection. However, it was his 94.7 run-blocking grade that allowed him to post the top overall grade among guards this week.”

PFF graded Whitehair as the NFL’s sixth ranked center last season, boasting strong grades as a pass blocker (86.5, 4th among centers) and in the running game (83.2, 6th) in what turned out to be the best year for a Bears offensive lineman since 2013. Pro Football Weekly saw Whitehair as a potential breakout candidate who could help lead to strong performances from some of his teammates who play skill positions.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

We explored the idea of Whitehair moving to tackle early in the offseason, but also left the door open for the possibility of a healthy Hroniss Grasu returning to center. However, we didn’t expect Long’s injury to linger this deep into the preseason. Long’s injury has had a direct impact on the shape of the offensive line. His absence has led to Grasu’s insertion into the starting lineup at a position where he started eight games two years ago. But if Whitehair can be as good at guard as he was at center, the line won’t miss a beat while Long is sidelined.


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Head coach John Fox seemed optimistic about Long’s return, saying he’s “on target” to play in the team’s regular season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Things weren’t all that bright a week ago, as Fox seemed unsure about Long’s status for the opener. All things considered, we’ll take the most recent update as a sign of progress until further notice. But if Long isn’t ready, at least the Bears have options able to hold down his spot until he receives a clean bill of health and is ready to return.


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at The Ten-Yard Line, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.


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