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Bears Replace G Lance Louis with a Watered-Down Version of Lance Louis

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Matt Slauson #68 of the New York Jets blocks against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on September 16, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2013

The Chicago Bears have signed former New York Jets guard Matt Slauson to a one-year deal, according to ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright.

After losing Lance Louis to the Miami Dolphins, the Bears were definitely in need of a guard.

So they went and got the lightweight version of Louis in Slauson.

I've never been a huge fan of Slauson's. He was adequate as the Jets' left guard for the last three years and never really more. 2012 was probably his best season, doing a much better job of protecting quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Still, his run-blocking left a ton to be desired. The same can be said of Louis, who, like the rest of the Bears' offensive line, struggled in run-blocking more than pass protection (the reverse of what normally happens with that line).

However, at the end of the day, Louis has been a far more consistent presence on the offensive line than Slauson—and with less talent around him.

Slauson was bracketed by D'Brickashaw Ferguson at left tackle and Nick Mangold at center—both extremely good, Pro Bowl-level players. Louis has played with a carousel of less-than-spectacular players including J'Marcus Webb (who has improved), Gabe Carimi (who is still refining) and Chris Williams (a huge bust).

The talent differential, to me, is a big issue. Now, hopefully that will change with Jermon Bushrod at left tackle.

Bushrod should help Slauson be a serviceable guard. On the whole, this is another addition to an offensive line which has been problematic at best.

Just make sure you don't expect too much from Slauson because it still comes down to replacing a decent guard with a watered-down version of himself.

 

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