Alex Leatherwood has had a rough start to his career, and now that the Chicago Bears have claimed him, there is a chance his career can be turned around.
No one thought Alex Leatherwood would go from being the 17th overall pick in 2021 to being claimed on waivers by the Chicago Bears in 2022.
How things quickly change. Leatherwood had a strong resume coming out of Alabama and was drafted high by the Las Vegas Raiders. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out in Sin City, and the former Crimson Tide All-American was released. The biggest surprise, at least to many, was that the Bears picked him up.
The Bears have their own troubles with their offensive line, so why go after Leatherwood? There are a number of reasons. For one, Bears offensive line coach Chris Morgan has dealt with this situation before and navigated through the rough waters. Moreover, Bears general manager Ryan Poles and assistant general manager Ian Cunningham played on the offensive line in their playing days. If anything, they can offer great advice.
Moreover, Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus, known for a tough exterior when coaching, has a reputation of getting more out of less, even if it was on the defensive side of the ball. He coached against arguably the best offensive line in football in Colts practices, so he has picked up a few tricks along the way and can pass it on if needed.
The Chicago Bears have an excellent opportunity to help revitalize Alex Leatherwood’s career.
It will take time, but the Bears have decided to abandon their overaggressive past of Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy and be diligent with their moves. Panicking moves can only help in the short term, but Poles has made it clear that the Bears need to be a consistent threat and a championship-level team. Reaching those goals will take time.
Players like Leatherwood, who may not have flourished in another spot, will be given an opportunity in Chicago to show what they are capable of. Additionally, Bears defensive line coach Travis Smith had seen Leatherwood up close when he was in Vegas, so there is a strong connection.
The Bears took a low-risk flier on Alex Leatherwood. He has no off-the-field issues and likely just needed a fresh start and better coaching. It’s the same with most players. It’s not a detriment, but maybe a blessing in disguise. If Leatherwood can’t do it in Chicago, then perhaps what was said about him in Vegas will carry more weight.
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