The Chicago Bears change in run scheme has benefited James Daniels
It is early, and the New York Giants and Detroit Lions are not winning games with their defense in 2020. However, a commitment from Matt Nagy as well as timely calls, and crafty designs has helped aid a running game that is the best it has looked since Nagy became the head coach of the Chicago Bears.
The Bears offensive line was one of the best run blocking units in Week One, and between David Montgomery, Cordarrelle Patterson and Tarik Cohen, the Bears put up 28 rushes for 119 yards against the Giants.
Germain Ifedi has done a great job, and the new scheme fits him well. The upgrade over Rashaad Coward is noticeable. However, more important than that is James Daniels taking a jump as a run blocker. According to PFF, he has been the Bears top run blocker in 2020, and it is warranted.
Besides Daniels switching back and forth from center to guard, one of the biggest differences between 2019 and 2020 is the difference between power and outside zone.
The Bears ran more power in 2019, which is hat on hat, down hill blocking. Daniels is an athletic guard who can move well, but strength is something he is working on.
When running the outside zone there is much more lateral movement expected from offensive lineman, and this suits Daniels much better. Take a look at the 23 yard run Montgomery ripped off. Daniels seals this block off by not only getting lateral, but getting to the second level with speed.
This is how James Daniels won in college and this is how the Bears should expect him to succeed in the NFL. He is not going to over power men, at least not yet. He can pull, and climb into the second level to create extra lanes. The switch to outside has benefited Daniels more than anyone else, and Daniels has thanked the Bears for playing to his strengths.