After faring well in job share, Chicago Bears rookie LG Daniels set for starting debut vs. Jets

October 27, 2018 GMT

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For the third straight game, second-round draft pick James Daniels alternated series with veteran Eric Kush at left guard vs. the Patriots in Week Seven. Daniels actually got a bit more playing time against New England, 44 snaps to 38, even though Kush continues as the starter.

Coach Matt Nagy said earlier this week he sees the arrangement remaining the same for now, but Kush on Friday was ruled out for Sunday’s game vs. the New York Jets because of a neck stinger. That makes Daniels the main man at left guard for the first time Sunday.

“They’re doing a good job with it,” Nagy said of the job share. “Both guys are true professionals, handling it the right way, both helping each other out. There’s no concern over selfishness; they don’t have that, and (OL coach) Harry (Hiestand) has done a great job of bringing them along. James is getting some valuable experience.


“It’s great for him to have that, and it’s even better for him to have a guy like Kush to support him. In a lot of other situations, you could see it go the other way, but it hasn’t happened.”

The Bears believe Daniels will eventually be a full-time starter, but they don’t feel compelled to force the issue. They see continued improvement but prefer to bring the 21-year-old along at a more leisurely pace. Daniels is encouraged by his development so far, but far from satisfied.

“I feel like my technique has gotten a lot better, but it’s still nowhere near consistently where it needs to be,” he said. “It’ll be good one play, then it’ll be bad for four or five play, so I have to focus on doing that better.”

Nagy gives the rookie a better review.

“He does a good job,” Nagy said. “If there’s times where he gets beat, whether it’s in the pass game or the run game, leverage-wise he does a good job with recovery. Probably more so than anything for him is just the experience of seeing different looks. Every game he plays, it’s going to get a little easier, so experience right now is the biggest thing for him.”

Daniels says he owes part of his development to the mentoring he’s received from Kush.

“He’s helped me so much,” Daniels said. “He helps me during practices and helps me during the game, so it’s been really beneficial. He’s been a really good resource for me (with) technique stuff. Or (he’ll say) ‘Make sure you’re seeing this or you’re looking for that,’ so it’s been very helpful.”

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