Starting left guard Chilo Rachal got taken by the 49ers in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft after an All-American college career at USC. Rachal, a native of Compton, Calif, went on to start 38 games at right guard for San Francisco before he fell out of favor last season.
Rachal started just three games in 2011 as he spent the majority of the season on the Niners' bench. So when his original rookie contract expired in the offseason, the Niners allowed Rachal to reach free agency where the Bears picked him up on a one-year deal.
“I wouldn’t say there was a decision not to re-sign him," San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Chilo was looking for a different situation. He’s done a fabulous job. I watched him on tape. He’s been very consistent for Chicago. Really pleased he‘s doing well. I always liked him. He was always one of my personal favorites on the team. And (I) recognize he’s doing a good job right now.”
The 49ers' loss turned out to be the Bears' gain. Although the 6-foot-5, 323-pound offensive lineman began his Bears career as a backup, he quickly moved into the starting lineup when the team benched left guard Chris Spencer in Week 3.
If Rachal holds a grudge against his ex-team, he isn't saying so, at least publically.
"It's just another good team on the schedule so there really isn't more motivation," Rachal said. "I'm going to treat it just like I do every week, which is to go out, work hard and execute.
"I was there for four years, so I'm just going back home. I got a lot of family that get to come and watch the game and (I'm) excited."
But don't you want to prove to the 49ers you can still be a starter in this league?
"Like I said it's just another good team on the schedule, it's another good game and it's going to be fun," Rachal smiled.