Image source: USA Today Sports
The Chicago Bears went through an experimental phase by going through different combinations for their offensive line, but they seem to have found their ideal setup.
The Bears will be giving 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 guaranteed a spot to start for the team.
From there, things started to materialize.
Mustipher became the natural choice for the center after Lucas Patrick and Doug Kramer were sidelined with injuries.
Jones and Borom settled into the left and right tackles; each man delaying free agent Riley Reiff in an open competition.
Teven Jenkins was the final piece of the puzzle, having had to go through a whirlwind offseason compared to his peers.
Jenkins initially started at right tackle at the start of the OTA before he got injured and became tradebait.
He was able to recover, but he was delegated to second and third-string work at right tackle.
From there, Jenkins remained at right tackle.
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Surprise and praises
Of the five, Braxton Jones and Teven Jenkins surprised everyone the most, earning themselves 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 was often on his heels as defensive ends whizzed by 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 went through a “fish out of water” experience, switching positions days before a preseason game.
The last time he played right guard was during his redshirt freshman year at Oklahoma State, but Jenkins’ performance impressed the Bears.
“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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While it may seem that the Chicago Bears found their starting five, Luke Getsy remains wary of possible 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 is still going to be some major changes for the Chicago Bears after teams across the NFL cut down the number of players to 53.
Ryan Poles and Ian Cunningham (both former linemen) will have their eyes set on the waiver wires this week.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see players from their former teams (the Chiefs and the Eagles) in Halas Hall.