Senior Bowl Buzz: G Impresses Bears

The Chicago Bears played much better along the offensive line this year than many expected, but there is still room for improvement. Team scouts uncovered a premier guard prospect Tuesday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile they really like. Who is he? Bear Report has the inside scoop ...

Rookie running back Matt Forte deserves a lot of the credit for injecting some life into a lifeless Bears offense, but he had some help up front.

Chicago featured one of the worst offensive lines in the league in 2007 and looked to be just as bad heading into training camp in '08, but the Midway Monsters got some better-than-expected performances from the likes of left tackle John St. Clair and left guard Josh Beekman. Still, Beekman committed too many pre-snap penalties, and right guard Roberto Garza is nothing better than adequate at this point. An injection of youth is long overdue, although last year's first-round draft pick, Chris Williams, will now get his chance at left tackle after an injury-plagued debut season.

Garza isn't going to get any better and Beekman ultimately may be best suited to play at center, so the Midway Monsters are keeping a close eye on the guard position this week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

G Andy Levitre
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images is reporting that officials from the Bears spent a great deal of time at Tuesday's practice with Oregon State guard Andy Levitre.

Levitre (6-3, 317) has all the bulk you need on Sunday and is very strong and powerful, plus he plays with that nasty frame of mind you just can't coach. Not only does he move around pretty well for his size and uses his hands properly at the point of attack, but he is also one of the hardest workers the Beavers had and was voted as a team captain. On the down side, he isn't a very natural athlete and struggles to make quality blocks when asked to pull, which can really be a big problem in Ron Turner's system since he doesn't employ a lot of zone-blocking plays.

Levitre (pronounced Luh-VEE-tree) is listed as the No. 4 guard available for the 2009 NFL Draft by the experts at, he so could be selected in the latter stages of Day 1 but more likely in the early stages of Day 2.

Veteran guard Terrence Metcalf is a candidate to be cut since he hasn't locked down a starting job in seven years with the organization, which is all the more reason to expect this position to be addressed at some point in April.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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