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Bears opting for youngsters at left guard

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted June 23, 2010 @ 1:18 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

If the Bears' OTAs were any indication, it would appear Johan Asiata, a late-blooming undrafted free agent out of UNLV a year ago, could have the best shot at cracking the starting lineup at left guard. The offseason began with veteran Kevin Shaffer widely considered to be the front-runner at left guard, but it didn't take long for new Bears O-line coach Mike Tice to conclude that Shaffer would continue to be best served as a swing man at both tackle and guard. In Shaffer's place, both Asiata, who didn't even begin playing football until he was 19, and Lance Louis, a seventh-round draft pick out of San Diego State in '09 who made the final roster last year but never played, received the major share of playing time the past two months. "But you don't win a starting job in OTAs," a veteran Bears insider cautioned. "I still think Josh Beekman (the starter at left guard the entire 2008 season) could end up starting, even though they're trying to get bigger at the position, and he is undersized."


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