Sat, 30 May 2020

Chalk Talk: What position will Ifedi play

Chicago Bears
06 Apr 2020, 16:37 GMT+10

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Do you know where Germain Ifedi will line up with the Bears? I know he played tackle and guard with the Seahawks.

Dave F.

Bend, Oregon

General manager Ryan Pace said during his conference call with the media Friday that veteran free-agent acquisition Germain Ifedi will compete at the right guard position. Ifedi played all but one game at right tackle the past three seasons with the Seahawks, but the 6-5, 325-pounder started all 13 games he played at right guard as a rookie first-round pick with Seattle in 2016. Here's what Pace had to say about Ifedi: "Right now we do envision him kicking inside to guard, and it's no different than the quarterback position [acquiring Nick Foles in a trade with the Jaguars], just adding competition to the right guard position with Ifedi. He's a guy that we liked coming out in the draft. We've kept close tabs on him. He's a talented player. I know [new offensive line coach] Juan Castillo is really high on this player, too, and he feels he can make him better, which we're confident in. ... We're excited to get [Ifedi]. [The reason we got him] is just to really add competition to the offensive line. That depth there is important, and we'll let that play out."

Knowing that their offseason program could be greatly reduced or even cancelled entirely due to the coronavirus, did the Bears place a special emphasis on signing free agents their coaches had previously worked with?

Ray G.

Waukegan, Illinois

It has seemed that way with some of the players the Bears have acquired during this unprecedented offseason. Quarterback Nick Foles worked with coach Matt Nagy and several Bears assistants with other NFL teams. Tight end Jimmy Graham was drafted by the Saints when general manager Ryan Pace worked for New Orleans. Outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo played for special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor with the Browns as well. The Bears have always seemed to be more comfortable acquiring players that members of their organization have worked with in the past. But Pace denied that there was more of an emphasis on that during this unique offseason, saying during his conference call Friday: "I know it probably feels like it happened that way, but to be completely honest, that wasn't a complete focus. It was, 'Hey, let's just go acquire the best players that we feel fit us.' I think sometimes when there is background with a player, it just helps because there is risk in every move you make, and the more background and intimate knowledge you have of a guy and his makeup, I think that helps a lot. It just kind of came together that way from a positive standpoint, but that wasn't a focus."

I have a question about the Bears' amazing comeback victory over the Cardinals in 2006 when they rallied from a 23-3 deficit to win 24-23. Didn't Arizona have a chance to win the game with a late field goal? Just think, if the kick had been good, we would've been robbed of one of the greatest comebacks in Bears history-and one of the best rants in NFL history from Cardinals coach Dennis Green!

Sam J.

Willow Springs, Illinois

You are correct in all areas, Sam. While most of us remember the incredible comeback that was capped by Devin Hester's 83-yard punt return touchdown, what very likely was the most impressive performance of middle linebacker Brian Urlacher's Hall of Fame career and Dennis Green's post-game meltdown, you never hear much about the Cardinals' late field-goal attempt that could have altered history. After Hester's TD had given the Bears a 24-23 lead with 2:58 remaining, Neil Rackers missed a 41-yard attempt wide left with :53 remaining, enabling the Bears to improve to 6-0 en route to a 13-3 season and their first NFC championship since 1985.

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