In the 2019 offseason, the Chicago Bears elected to make a positional switch on the offensive line with James Daniels moving to center and Cody Whitehair moving to guard. The thought process behind such a move? Daniels and Whitehair would return to the positions they played in college. 

However, three games into 2019 and it’s clear that an experiment the Bears hoped would be successful has gone wrong. Whitehair has been fine at guard, however, Daniels continues to struggle when it comes to playing center. In just three weeks, he’s made multiple mistakes that have continued to cost the Bears big plays. 

On Monday against the Redskins, during the second quarter, with the Bears backed up, Daniels lost sight of Redskins defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, who would eventually sack Mitchell Trubisky. While the Redskins front seven was solid, Daniels has yet to face a front seven that’s as good as the Minnesota Vikings, the Bears week four opponent. 

And that wasn’t Daniels only obvious missed assignment of 2019. In week 1 against the Packers, Daniels misread what multiple Packers defensive linemen were doing, which eventually led to more Bears sacks. 

Smart money says the Bears know that this positional switch with Daniels and Whitehair hasn’t gone well and that the team will work on fixing it, however fixing this problem isn’t as easy as most think. 

The reality is that Whitehair has spent all offseason learning how to be a left guard again while Daniels spent all offseason learning how to be an NFL center. Now, with the Vikings looming, it’d be unwise to make a midseason switch as both players will still be rusty. 

The best thing that the Bears can do is have Whitehair and Daniels switch back to guard and center after the Bears-Raiders matchup in London. In other words, make the switch going into the bye week. This would give the Bears, as well as Daniels and Whitehair about two weeks to fully get both guys settled into their own positions. 

Sometimes in the NFL, when things don’t work out, you need to find a solution. The Bears need to address this offensive line issue before things get completely out of hand. After the Vikings this weekend, the Bears will play teams with solid front sevens such as the Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Chargers. 

The Bears have a chance to fix this problem before it gets out of hand. 2018 proved that when it comes to the NFL game, Daniels is better suited as a guard and Whitehair a center. If the Bears decide to go back to their 2018 offensive line, everyone will benefit from the quarterback to the playmakers.