Image source: USA Today Sports
The Chicago Bears have gone through an experimental phase of making different combinations for their offensive line, but they seem to have found their ideal formation.
The Bears will give first-team opportunities to Larry Borom, Teven Jenkins, Braxton Jones, Sam Mustipher, and Cody Whitehair.
Before the decision was made, Whitehair was the only player who was guaranteed a starting spot for the team.
From there, things began to materialize.
After Lucas Patrick and Doug Kramer were sidelined with injuries, Mustipher became the natural choice for center.
Jones and Borom engaged in left and right tackles; every man held off free agent Riley Reiff in an open contest.
Teven Jenkins was the final piece of the puzzle after enduring a rocky offseason compared to his peers.
Jenkins first started with the right tackle early in the OTA before getting injured and becoming trade bait.
He was able to recover but was given the job on the second and third strings in a proper tackle.
From there, Jenkins stayed on the right tackle.
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Surprise and praise
Of the five, Braxton Jones and Teven Jenkins surprised everyone the most and earned praise from coaches and teammates.
“For a young guy, (Jones) came in kinda hot,” said Bears coach Luke Getsy.
“We were really excited about what he was showing. Then we put pads on and I thought he–it shocked him a little bit.”
During the early days of training camp, Jones often chased after him as defense points darted at him.
“Obviously having Robert (Quinn) to go against every day doesn’t help,” added Getsy.
“But then I thought he really did a great job kind of digging his feet into the ground and getting right back at it. I saw – at least these two or three weeks – I thought he’s done a really nice job of getting better every day.”
“I’m excited to see what he can do, and I think he’s got a bunch of confidence in himself too, and I think he’s got an opportunity to show what he’s got.”
Meanwhile, Teven Jenkins had a “fish out of water” experience, switching positions days before a preseason game.
The last time he played with the right hat was in his freshman year in the red shirts at “I thought that showed: one, his athleticism; and two, his mental capacity,” said Getsy.
“The guard position has more on his plate than the tackle position. For him to be able to go in and execute at a high level was really good.”
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Getsy stays grounded
While it may appear that the Chicago Bears have found their base five, Luke Getsy remains wary of potential changes.
“I don’t want to go there yet,” said the coach. “But I thought all those guys have done a nice job of getting better each day.”
“I think you guys have naturally seen guys fall into certain positions and stuff, where they maybe feel a little bit more comfortable. So I think there’s been growth.”
There are still some big changes coming for the Chicago Bears after NFL teams cut the number of players to 53.
Ryan Poles and Ian Cunningham (both former linesmen) will be keeping an eye on the waiver threads this week.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see players from their former teams (the Chiefs and Eagles) at Halas Hall.