The new sheriff is in town for the Chicago Bears and it's clear the task ahead must start with the offensive line. Given the offseason outlooks could the team land a double whammy in Barrett Jones and Sebastian Vollmer?
Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker mask Jones in NFL draft
Alabama is a regular pro football star factory much like USC was a few years back. This NFL draft season could earmark another record showing. Experts aren't sure yet but the Crimson Tide could have as many as four players go before pick 16, and eight go in the entire draft. That would match their previous record set back in 1987. Two names that continue dominating headlines are both on the offensive line in guard Chance Warmack and right tackle D.J. Fluker. Their popularity on draft boards came thanks to a dominant showing in the BCS championship, but also had a side effect in covering up a sort of third musketeer people haven't talked about. That is center Barrett Jones. The academic and athletic All-American was the best at his position in 2012 and commands respect from his teammates for being the only lineman on the roster to excel at tackle, guard and center during his college career. That kind of versatility and leadership turns out well in the NFL. Does that mean teams smart to those trends will have eyes on him?
Marc Trestman hire of Aaron Kromer proves team intentions
Chicago is certainly one such team. Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo stood by and watched a once stout offensive line disintegrate into a bundle of botched draft picks and overmatched role players. That should change in a hurry. New GM Phil Emery put offense first when he made the bold choice to hire 57-year-old Marc Trestman as the Bears new head coach. A quarterback guru at heart, the former CFL coach values protection first and foremost on offense. That explains why his first hire for his coaching staff was New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer to become the team offensive coordinator. Kromer built one of the best lines in football to protect Drew Brees and fans hope he can do the same for Jay Cutler. That must start in the 2013 offseason. Free agency offers some interesting choices but one player often lost in the shuffle is New England Patriots right tackle Sebastian Vollmer. Once again the 28-year-old has helped his team to another AFC championship game but back problems have limited his exposure over the past couple years. Given the Patriots success at developing young linemen, it's hard seeing him return next season. If the Bears were able to scoop up him and then draft Jones, their high hopes for the offense would get a huge boost.
Marc Trestman knows what good offense is and he intends to bring it to the Chicago Bears. It starts with protection. Barrett Jones and Sebastian Vollmer aren't flashy but their impacts are undeniable.
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