Bears News: Whitehair reacts to position change, Darnell Wright

Bears News: Whitehair reacts to position change, Darnell Wright

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - With the offensive line struggles from 2022, things needed to change. But it turns out one of those changes centers around one of their veteran offensive linemen - Cody Whitehair. Whitehair, after primarily playing on the left side for the past few years, is moving back to center.

“I’ve kind of done this my whole career. It started when I was at (Kansas) State. You know, they moved me all around,” Whitehair explained at a recent press conference. “I was playing tackle, I was playing guard … I’m used to it, and I’ve always been a team-first guy. Wherever I can help the team, that’s what I’m going to do.”

He started out his NFL career back in 2016 as a center, so this is a position he has played before. Nonetheless, there still are some readjustment issues for him to get used to.

The additional practice in organized team activities (OTAs) has probably helped with that.

“I know there, at first, I was having issues as far as consistency of the snap,” Whitehair said. “I feel like I’m past that. I feel like I’m in a good spot and, you know, I just think the experience there before has helped me do what I’m doing today.”

Part of the reason for this move is because of the addition of offensive lineman Darnell Wright via the NFL Draft. He spent his college career playing on the right side of the line and is big enough to play at the tackle position right away at the beginning of the season.

Wright has also been participating in OTAs, and Whitehair took notice of him immediately.

“A good player, athletic player, big strong guy, very well on run and pass. Like I said, he’s a big guy,” Whitehair said. “He can anchor on a bull and get movement at the point of attack. So, that’s what we want, and he’s doing a nice job right now.”

It may seem like the starters at the O-Line are already in place, but according to Whitehair, that is not the case. Like some other positions on the Bears roster, there is some competition for the starting jobs.

Competition is something that seems to be fueling Chicago so far this season.

“There is great competition on our line, though, as well. You know, guys are really working hard and pushing each other,” Whitehair said. “We’re excited where we’re at, and I think, you know, getting together now and, you know, having those guys in there, you know, only helps us later down the road with our combination fits, communication, you know, all the continuity stuff that it takes to be a good line.”

With all of the additions and draft picks, there seems to be more excitement than last year about the Bears and how they might perform in the season.

According to Whitehair, that is something they feel at Halas Hall as well.

“There’s always that optimism in this time of year, but you just feel it at the next level, I guess, if you will. You know, guys are really eager to get back. Guys are eager to work for each other. But I think we got the right pieces this year to really make a run,” Whitehair explained. “There’s a different feel this year. You know, everybody’s really hungry this year. You know, guys came in and looked great, working hard, you know. So, we like where we’re at, and obviously, we’re going to continue to get better, but it’s nice that we have most of our team here.”

For a veteran like Whitehair, that has only played in two playoff games, he is also excited to be part of a team that, he feels, could have a real chance this coming season to make it to the playoffs.

“I am getting older, too, so I'm very fortunate to still be here," Whitehair said. "I love what’s going on here and, you know, we’re going to get this thing turned around. I’m looking forward to being a part of it,” Whitehair said. “This will be my eighth year here, and I take a lot of pride in wearing the “C” and the Bear on my chest, and I’m very glad I’m back and look forward to this year.”

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