Chicago Bears Offseason practice began with a surprise when cornerback Jaylon Johnson was seen running with the second team’s defense. Coach Matt Eberfels insisted the decision was more about assessing his condition than anything else because he hadn’t practiced much at that point. Things looked a little different when members of the media spotted Teven Jenkins running with Team Two’s attack during the last OTA practice on Wednesday.
It’s hard not to raise an eyebrow at this. Thin bears in handling paper. I felt Jenkins had a clear start this year as a pre-season pick for the second round. Therefore, it is difficult to ignore the coaches’ dismissal of him from the starting line-up. It makes one wonder if they see some kind of imbalance in the treatment of young people that matters to them. For his part, Eberlus’ interpretation focused less on what might be wrong with Jenkins than on what might be right with others.
“We’re just trying to find the best groups of people, especially when you look at the offensive line. Who’s the top five guys so we can succeed? And you create competition when you do that, you know when you move the guys. Who can work in different positions, and who can really execute?” “
This wording is important.
People focus on Jenkins’ potential flaws. Perhaps the best angle is what the coaches might see from the other players involved in the squad change. I’ve already talked about lifting Novice Braxton Jones to the left tackle point. He successfully played this position in southern Utah and carried him to Senior Ball. The Beers were so interested in him that they sent reps to see him in action again, just days before the draft.
Then there is Larry Borum. Coaches were optimistic about the previous fifth-round pick last year, and he ended up starting eight games. All of them were in the correct treatment. This was his original position in college. The fact that he wasn’t the one to be demoted instead of Jenkins suggests that he looked good in practice. Coaches want to see if he can look just as good on the right side. This could influence their decision on their starting lineup in the future.
Teven Jenkins will probably end up at first.
He is too talented to be left off the field. It is possible that the Bears were sending him a message of demotion. He needs to pick up things once the pads start next month. The truth is, they are unlikely to put Justin Fields’ blind side in the hands of a fifth-round rookie. Jones will have to blow them up at a training camp for that to happen. It can happen, but it feels like a long shot.
It’s also worth noting that Teven Jenkins spent it all last season working on a left tackle. Matt Nagy and his crew felt his size and athletic life were just right for him. So he had to spend that time re-learning how to work on the right side. Contrary to popular myth, this is easy. Even though he played the right tackle in college, it still takes time to train your feet to handle drops going one way or the other.
Now is not the time to put up with anything.
Take a positive turn in this development. Instead of Jenkins looking bad, it might be better to assume that Jones and Borum look good. It’s a favorable early sign that GM Ryan Poles may have found something in the rookie. Last but not least, it’s a reminder from Eberflus that no job is secure on this team. Everyone is competing.
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