LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 14: Offensive guard Chase Beeler #72 of the Stanford Cardinal blocks against the USC Trojans on November 14, 2009 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Stanford won 55-21. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
While the Bears offensive line has improved, they had a horrible game against the Packers. Jay Cutler was sacked six times. It was a reminder that though the line is better than they were, they're still not good.
In the off-season, GM Jerry Angelo needs to bulk up the line. Here's a suggestion, as part of a recurring series:
If you tuned into the Orange Bowl, you saw the Stanford Cardinal run all over the Virginia Tech Hokies, winning 40-12. The Cardinal picked up 534 offensive yards. They had 287 passing yards, just one yard short of the Hokies' yardage for the entire game.
Who blocked for all of that offensive firepower? Chase Beeler, the center and anchor of one of the best offensive lines in the country.
Stanford allowed their quarterback to be sacked just seven times this season, the second best total in the NCAA. They also allowed their running game to pick up more than 2,500 yards, good enough to be in the top 20 in the NCAA.
Those offensive fireworks helped Stanford to an 11-1 record, a BCS bowl, and a top-five ranking. Beeler was a consensus All-American, and at 6 feet, 3 inches and 275 pounds, he has the frame to fit in physically in the NFL.
Olin Kreutz is not going to last forever, and the best gift he could leave the Bears is a center that he's mentored to be ready for the NFL. We've recommended Tim Barnes from Missouri, but we'll happily take Chase Beeler as well.