The Chicago Bears like Bobby Massie, the club's brand new right tackle.
The team likes his size, his attitude, his experience and the success he had the past few years with the Arizona Cardinals. With Massie, the Bears get 6-6, 316-pound edge blocker who doesn't turn 27 until August. They get a player who has been to the playoffs the past two seasons, including the NFC Championship game last year.
Bottom line: the Bears believe the four-year veteran can help the offense in every phase of the game.
"I’m nasty in the run game," Massie said today. "But [in the] pass game, I’m efficient. I can’t really be too aggressive in pass protection from an offensive tackle. I’m patient."
Massie didn't taste the playoffs until his third year in Arizona, as the Cardinals struggled his first two NFL seasons.
“When I started off, we had a down year," said Massie. "We weren’t used to winning."
Yet after Bruce Arians became head coach in 2013, everything changed.
"With the change in the coaching staff, we won 10-11 games. We became hungry," he said. "Winning is contagious.Once you start winning, you don’t want to go back to losing. All we need’s a little taste here [and we'll] get back to the top.”
Along with linebacker Danny Trevathan, the Bears yesterday signed two athletes at crucial positions of need, both of whom come from winning programs.
“Nobody wants to lose. That’s not a good thing," said Massie. "If we can bring what we’ve experienced with the teams we’ve been on, bring that culture here, it’ll help out a lot.”
Massie said he likes the direction the Bears are headed, despite the club's 6-10 record last season.
"It’s a good organization and they’re on the rise," he said. "They’ve got a lot of good things going on here. And they’re making strides to make progress and being able to play with a good friend of mine, play right beside him, play for a good quarterback and the offensive capabilities that they have here, that’s what did it for me."
That good friend is Kyle Long, who will slide inside to right guard next to Massie. The right-side duo has a built-in friendship, as they train together in the off-season at LeCharles Bentley's O-Line Performance academy in Arizona. In fact, it was Long who played a big role in convincing Massie to sign in Chicago.
"Me and Kyle, we've been talking about this for the past two weeks," Masie said. "He's been in my ear, trying to get me to come to Chicago and recruit me and things and once I finally did give him notice that I was coming, he was screaming and shouting on the phone, he was real happy to hear that. I talked to him yesterday and I'll see him when I get back in Arizona. I'm just ready to get things down, learn the terminology and the playbook and everything.
"He's a good recruiter, if it's somebody good out there and he wants them on the team, he's got the ability to make that happen because of who he's become on this team. With the position switch, it won't be a problem because he's played there before."
The Bears hope that his familiarity with Long, as well as his professed nastiness in the run game, will help Massie excel in Chicago, thus justifying his relatively large contract.