Chicago Bears left guard Chris Spencer has struggled all season to adjust to the left guard position after being moved from the right guard position after last season. During training camp and the preseason it became apparent that Spencer belonged on the right side versus the left side.
Now after two poor performances Spencer has been benched in favor of Chilo Rachal who is a slightly better run blocker, but may be a worse pass blocker than Spencer. The move is a curious one because Rachal has not performed better than Spencer at any point during training camp or during the preseason.
Adding to what has become an erratic number of moves up front with the offensive line is Rachal moving to the left from the right after spending his entire career in San Francisco at RG. Rachal has struggled at LG, Spencer has struggled at LG, at what point can we legitimately begin to question Mike Tice and how he's struggling to find the right combination of players up front?
The time to question Tice is now, beyond his blunt assessment of his player, his candor with the media lies a coach that seems to have completely lost control of his starting offensive line.
This move marks one of many curious moves by Tice since he arrived here in Chicago. The chaos on the Bears starting offensive line is starting to hurt team chemistry and the overall production of the offense. Yes you can pass this type of judgment a mere two games into the season.
Here's what we can nail down as Bears fans and a reason why we can start to legitimately question Tice. First Chris Williams has been the best performing left guard since Mike Tice moved him there upon his arrival. Move Williams back to the left guard spot, he settled in there nicely and played admirably up until his injury forced him to miss the rest of the season.
Two, Edwin Williams has been the second best performing left guard, his play was at a high level during the last few games of last season. Move Williams to the backup spot behind Chris Williams and help to better solidify the left side of the offensive line.
Next move Chris Spencer back to right guard to back up Lance Louis at the position and to be the backup center to Roberto Garza. Spencer has been most comfortable at right guard and center in his career, solidify the right side.
Because Tice has moved so many players around the offensive in this off-season he has now created a weakness on the offensive line that didn't exist at the end of last season. Stability at the offensive line existed with both Chris and Edwin Williams at the LG spot last season, it doesn't exist now.
Lastly and this might be the riskiest of all the moves to make up front, cut Chilo Rachal and promote James Brown from the practice squad to be the backup swing tackle behind J'Marcus Webb. Brown deserves a shot to get meaningful reps with the 53-man roster as a rookie, he's earned his spot.
If Webb winds up injured and you need to move Williams out to LT (which is the plan currently) in place of Webb, then putting Edwin Williams at left guard where he played at a high level keeps a certain level of stability up front.
Mike Tice's job as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach is to balance the line with the best five to ten players the Bears have on the roster. At this point Tice is failing at his job and in turn hurting the overall stability of the offense.
Tice has created problems where they didn't exist before and in turn the disarray up front could start to cost the Bears games in the win column.