The Chicago Bears had offensive line concerns days before training camp started. So GM Ryan Poles decided to do something about it. In the space of 24 hours, he added two quality veterans to the mix in Michael Schofield and Riley Reiff. Schofield spent last season as a starting guard for the Los Angeles Chargers, while Reiff did the same at right tackle for Cincinnati. Both should be immediate favorites to find jobs along the starting offensive line. Many wonder what this development means for the younger blockers on the depth chart, notably Teven Jenkins.
Remember, this guy was a 2nd round pick last season. Not only that, but Ryan Pace traded up to get him. They clearly felt he was their future at one of the tackle positions. Now one year later, he suddenly doesn’t have an open path to either job. Reiff likely securing the left tackle spot puts him in competition with Larry Borom and rookie Braxton Jones for the right side. However, it seems the coaching staff may not envision him there either. Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog confirmed a rumor that has been growing for over a month.
“The signings of Riley Reiff and Michael Schofield are interesting, but I’m still interested in how the Bears intend to deploy Teven Jenkins. Several folks inside the building believe Reiff will start at left tackle and Jenkins’ best path to playing time is at right guard. (They’re paying Reiff to start. They’re paying Schofield zero guaranteed dollars.) This could set the stage for a camp battle between Braxton Jones and Larry Borom at right tackle. But the Bears sincerely like Jones.”
The first signs came when the team demoted him to the #2 offense in practices while Borom took over at right tackle and Jones on the left side. While head coach Matt Eberflus insisted not to read too much into that, people had enough common sense to realize something was going on. It was evident offensive line coach Chris Morgan and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy didn’t like what they saw from Jenkins.
This goes back to the NFL draft in 2021. Some experts had reservations about Teven Jenkins as a tackle, citing his average arm length and foot quickness as two things that could be major issues against pro pass rushers. It didn’t help when he had hiccups against undrafted rookies in spring practices. Shifting him inside to guard would help mitigate those two concerns, allowing him to rely on his power and nastiness for maximum impact.
Experimentation will likely continue for the Bears through the first two weeks of camp. Coaches will want to see where linemen fit best. It won’t be a surprise if Jenkins is battling Schofield for that open right guard spot when the preseason opens next month.
Give it time It’s NFL OL and the injuries will come. He’ll get his opportunities
It’s a top priority to improve the offensive line and I respect the coaching staff on determining who best fits that goal no matter when they were drafted or where they came from. Despite the criticism from some I think Poles has tried to improve the line with what was available to him. Next season the Bears will have an even greater opportunity to improve the team!
We’ll c’mon there is a way to use Jenkins. He was a total natural nasty in college. Now he may need conditioning and retraining for a new position- but – I would not give up on him.
Whether it’s RG or whatever, they need to come up with a plan. don’t waste the talent and don’t waste the attitude of this young player.
Neither Schofield nor Reif are likely to be with the team next year. There will still be an ongoing battle for LT and RG throughout the season, ideally ending with both being replaced during the season by the younger, cheaper, more athletic players drafted this year and last. Any of the three could be converted to guard and be effective but I think the acquisition of the two veterans reduces the possibility of Jenkins being the one moved to guard. With LT and RG no longer positions of need, the Bears have the luxury of three young, talented players competing… Read more »
Agree with David. Can’t predict anything yet. The positive is we now have some savvy veterans to mix with some athletic young guys. We’ll see some different combinations early but eventually this thing will get worked out. I’d keep B.Jones behind Reiff at LT and have Jenkins learning OG and OT on the right side behind the other two guys at least for now. Jenkins may end up being the “swing OL” guy.
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Bears Reportedly Have New Plans For Teven Jenkins – Sports Mockery