Spots Up For Grabs When Chicago Bears Report to Training Camp
With a new GM (Ryan Poles), a new head coach (Matt Eberflus), and new players, uncertainty surrounds the Chicago Bears as they approach the upcoming season. They have finished mini-camps and OTAs and training camp is right around the corner. When they report, there are a number of questions that need to be answered going into the 2022 season.
Will Justin Fields be able to grasp Luke Getsy’s offense? Will a mostly unproven wide receiver corps be able to generate consistent plays? Will the defense be able to successfully transition from the 3-4 to the 4-3 and mitigate the loss of Khalil Mack? These are all important questions indeed, but the one on most peoples’ mind has to be what about the offensive line?
Question Marks Surround the Chicago Bears Offensive Line
Last offseason, former GM Ryan Pace added Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom via the Draft to help improve a line that could best be described as mediocre. Things didn’t go as planned. Jenkins suffered an injury that required surgery before camp even started and missed most of the season, while Borom struggled with injury and inconsistency while playing right tackle.
The rest of the line performed in an underwhelming capacity. Cody Whitehair and James Daniels were okay at guard. Sam Mustipher struggled at center and was overpowered at times. Aging veteran Jason Peters was solid as a late addition at left tackle.
This season, only Borom and Whitehair remain penciled in at their positions from last year, right tackle and left guard respectively. Free agent pickup Lucas Patrick is slated to start at center. Rookie Braxton Jones made waves in mini-camp and OTAs and is challenging Jenkins for the left tackle spot. This article by Beth Mishler-Elmore with Heavy.com discusses Jones’ emergence.
That leaves right guard as an area of concern with Mustipher the current leader.
Training Camp Battles Will Decide The Line for the Chicago Bears
Once training camp starts, competition will decide who starts where. If Jenkins loses out at both tackle spots, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him kicked inside to guard, a spot many experts predicted he would be a better fit for in the NFL due to having shorter arms. Regardless of who starts, only time will tell if this new coaching staff can produce better results than the previous regime and do a better job of protecting Justin Fields.
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