Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus speak on Alex Leatherwood

Vince Carbonneau
September 2, 2022  (9:51)

The Chicago Bears claimed offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood off waivers on Wednesday, a day after the 2021 first-round draft pick was let go by the Las Vegas Raiders.

Leatherwood, the No. 17 overall pick last year, struggled at right tackle before being moved to guard after four games. The Alabama product had difficulties inside, too, and dropped on the depth chart this summer before Las Vegas let him go. While the start of his career has not been great, he is still a very talented player that could potentially have a long career in this league.
GM Ryan Poles certainly thinks so.
"I think the big thing is going back, talented player, physically gifted for sure," Poles said of Leatherwood on Thursday. "Prototype in his size and movement. And then in terms of like success with him here, I think we all believe in player development here, and we've put pieces in place to allow players to be their best selves. So, we're going to approach that in many different ways, and we're going to give him an opportunity to develop and grow. Forget the draft pick thing. That's over.

"So, let's start from the ground floor. Let's build you up and take your time and whatever that is, we want to put him in the best position to succeed. Chris Morgan and his staff and everyone around, from the weight room, we're going to give it everything we've got."

As for Bears HC Matt Eberflus, here is what he had to say:
«We studied him on tape. We looked at him,» Eberflus said, via Josh Schrock of «Some guys have been with him, some guys that were in Vegas last year. We have a couple coaches on our staff. Of course, I know [former Raiders defensive line] coach [Rod] Marinelli, used him as a resource. We've got nothing but good reports, and we're excited to have him. We'll see where he goes from here.

«He's got good balance when it comes to that. He stays on guys. That's what we like about him the most right now,» Eberflus said. «He's got to develop his game. He's a young player and we've got some really good coaches to help him. Chris Morgan is one of the best line coaches in the NFL. We're excited to have those guys paired up together.»
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