Chicago Sun-Times

Andre Gurode on Bears: "It's an absolute great opportunity"

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Five-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Andre Gurode weighed different options, but he wanted to patiently wait for the right one.

"This is it," Gurode told the Sun-Times. "It's an absolute great opportunity to come into a great organization with so much history, and a team doing well, and be able to help out when they need it."

The Bears signed Gurode Tuesday after working him out to fill the loss of starting right guard Lance Louis, who was placed on Injured Reserve after tearing his ACL. Gurode.jpg

Gurode has 127 NFL starts, mostly with the Dallas Cowboys. But he had offseason surgery on his left knee in 2011 then visited several clubs before signing with the Baltimore Ravens.

He started five games for the Ravens, but he never felt right.

"I wasn't able to get healthy the way I wanted to," he said. "I wanted to be tip-top shape and erase any doubts."
He declined to say which teams he visited, but he spent training camp working out and getting his body "the way it should be."

Gurode, 33, is comfortable at guard or center.

"I am in shape, and definitely can help," he said. "I need to learn the offense and, given the right opportunity, a chance to complete."

The Bears didn't make any promises, but Gurode is excited to join a playoff caliber team.

Gurode is 6 foot 4, 318 pounds, and he was originally a second-round pick of the Cowboys. A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Gurode also was a two-time All-Pro. He's started at center and guard with distinction.

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I guess as good a signing as they could do right now, but let's hope that the knee issue was what really held him back last year, since Pro Football Focus rated him as one of the worst guards in the NFL last season. Maybe he really is healthy and ready to contribute this season, though I'm curious to see now what Carimi can do as a guard, as he may be better suited to play that spot than tackle given his poor movement and footwork.

As for the LG spot, I really don't get why the Bears haven't been letting Edwin Williams start all along. Every time he comes in he plays well, and he's graded better than Spencer or Rachal each time he's played.

I like this deal. Clearly the Bears need an offensive lineman or two, and Gurode has proven that he can play. I hope the transfer to the Bears invigorates him to his former pro-bowl level. Re-signing him next year at age 34 would be another issue.

Looking back at my former comment, I overlooked the fact that Gurode is also comfortable at center.I am not a fan of Garza ( he caused the only sack the Vikings got and smelled up the center of the line in the San Francisco travesty ) and could see Gurode taking his place at center, swiching Garza to a back-up lineman position. That would make Gurode a viable possibility for next year as well, in spite of his age.

Garza is a better guard than Spencer or Rachal, so no point in making him a backup under your scenario of Gurode starting at center. If you do that, switch Garza to left guard. But this is all for next season. If they make all these changes now, the line will be even worse than it already is, if that's possible.

WFB, I'm not sure he is better than Spencer, and I was thinking of him as a swing back-up, at any of the offensive line positions, filling in at Guard, tackle or even center.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on November 27, 2012 5:30 PM.

Bears sign veteran OL Andre Gurode was the previous entry in this blog.

Could Bears be in play for Jason Babin? is the next entry in this blog.

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