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Dannehy: Bears Should Kick Jenkins Inside

| June 23rd, 2022


Before officially demoting Teven Jenkins to the second team, Matt Eberflus and the offensive coaching staff should try him at right guard.

Jenkins’ demotion was a surprise because, if the Bears had any questions about his ability to play right tackle, why didn’t they do more to address the position in the offseason? As it stands, the team promoted fifth-round rookie Braxton Jones to left tackle and moved 2021 fifth-rounder Larry Borom to right tackle, with Jenkins taking snaps with the second team.

Eberflus has said it was always part of the team’s plan to move players around, but that excuse doesn’t make sense for a variety of reasons. For starters, the team didn’t even have Jones until the draft. If they planned on having a draft pick seriously compete for playing time, they would’ve spent an earlier pick on the position. Secondly, it isn’t as if Jenkins is in a rotation, he was firmly on the second team, with Borom switching positions to take Jenkins’ starting reps. Lastly, the idea that they’re getting a good look at offensive linemen at this point is flawed because they have yet to see the players do any blocking.

It’s hard to figure out how Jenkins could’ve lost the job or why they made the move at all, but — anyway you figure it — it doesn’t look good for Jenkins’ 2022 outlook, at least not at tackle.

There is so much we don’t know, but assuming Jenkins is physically capable of playing, the team would be wise to try him at guard instead of forcing a competition at tackle.

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Five Quick Hits for a Monday Morning

| May 23rd, 2022


It is a slow period. Here are a few things.

  • From the spectacular Twitter feed of Adam Jahns: Bears coach Matt Eberflus on CB Kyler Gordon: “Kyler’s been lighting it up the last two days. I’ll just tell you that. The guy’s got tremendous ball skills. He’s been playing the defense the right way and we’re very impressed with him.” If Ryan Poles found a reliable starting corner with his first draft pick, the 2022 NFL Draft will be remembered as a success.
  • Sort of drifted through the news but it’s somewhat telling the Bears cut punter Ryan Winslow. That means rookie Trenton Gill – who was born in 1999 and looks like he’s about 14 years old – is the only punter on the roster. A lot of confidence in the kid.
  • A Tweet from Nate Tice seemed to capture the imagine of the internet this week: “the 2021 Bears drew up isolation plays in the redzone for 34-year-old Jimmy Graham with a straight face.” Aside from the insanity of the actual concept, this is also a reason I don’t take Cole Kmet touchdown production criticisms very seriously. Kmet didn’t score in 2021 because the Bears didn’t really give him many opportunities to score. Because, you know, they had Jimmy Graham!
  • As for the offensive line, there is still nothing to evaluate until we know how the players shake out. The Bears still don’t know where Teven Jenkins is going to line up. They don’t know if Larry Borom if going to be in their starting five. Similar to the QB, these guys are still learning how to play within a new scheme/structure.
    • One thing I have heard from inside the building is Morgan likes Borom more than Poles and company did when they were first hired. Poles didn’t initially envision Borom as a starter. That may be changing.
  • Jason La Canfora’s “report” that Robert Quinn wants out of Chicago is basically poppycock. Here’s the truth. (1) The Bears have been trying to trade Quinn for months. Poles wants more draft picks, and less salary and Quinn is coming off a career year. But he’s not just going to give players away and the Bears need pass rush to be competitive defensively in 2022. It’ll take a significant offer. (2) Quinn is making a fortune and quite likes it in Chicago. He’s not unhappy. He’s not disgruntled. He’s not trying to force a trade. Would he prefer to be on a team trying to win a title this season? Sure. But he’s not creating any issues at Halas Hall.

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Four Questions, Pertaining to the Building of a New Offensive Line

| March 21st, 2022


(1) Does Ryan Poles want to spend big money for a premier tackle? Terron Armstead will be 31 this season but has had trouble playing a complete season. His price will be north of $20 million per season. When he is healthy, he is worth every nickel. But does Poles want to absorb that risk financially?

(2) Where do Poles and this coaching staff expect Teven Jenkins to play in 2022? Do they want him at left tackle for another season? Do they want to move him to the right side? Jenkins is going to be one of the five starting linemen, but we honestly don’t know what position he’ll be playing. (My guess is they haven’t reached that conclusion yet and may not until they see how the rest of free agency and the draft shake out.)

(3) Can Ian Cunningham coerce Ryan Bates to Chicago? Bates is 25 and the folks in Buffalo absolutely adore him. But the Bills are cash-strapped and would unlikely be able to match a generous offer sheet. Minnesota is interested. New England is interested. But the Bears have Cunningham, the man responsible for bringing Bates to Philadelphia as an undrafted free agent. Is that relationship strong enough to make a difference now? (Bates can play anywhere on the line.)

(4) Two things I was told about the offensive line when Ryan Poles was hired were: (a) James Daniels was not going to be re-signed and (b) the opinion of Larry Borom was not particularly high. But this was before Poles and Flus engaged a thorough evaluation of the entire roster. Has that opinion changed at all? Do they view Borom as a potential starter? Versatile backup? Anything?

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Three Bears Players Worth Watching Tonight

| November 8th, 2021


It is time to shift our collective gaze to the players who look to be part of the Justin Fields future in Chicago. There are several to peer at this evening.

Cole Kmet

Kmet has had two big drops the last two weeks but his production levels are starting to seriously rise as his rapport with Fields develops. 4/49, 5/43, 3/24 don’t look like gaudy numbers but Kmet’s season now projects to 47/419 and one would think those numbers will be higher as he’s trending to the positive. These aren’t great games (by any means) but they’re not bad considering he’s in the league’s worst offense. (Kyle Rudolph – a common comp for Kmet – had 53/493 in his second season. But he had nine touchdowns.) Kmet has given fans a reason to think he can be a productive NFL tight end. But the production must continue.

Larry Borom

Considering he made his first start with Nick Bosa breathing on his face for three hours, Borom held up well against San Francisco. That’s the good news. The bad news is T.J. Watt is next on the docket. But just as it is important for Fields to play as a rookie, and struggle, it is equally important for Borom. Watt is going to beat him; he’s paid many, many monies to do so. But Borom should have a few victories as well and it’s those he’ll need to build confidence moving forward.

“The Outlaw” Jesse James

Yes, it’s a revenge game for James, but that’s not why he’s worth watching. He’s worth watching because he’s only 27 years old and has a defined chemistry with the quarterback. It is no surprise that the passing game looks its most dynamic when James is on the field; Fields spent all summer throwing to the damn guy. He’s got three targets in both of his games (the last two weeks) and he’s caught every ball thrown his way. Quarterbacks don’t usually want to see those guys leave town. (Ask Aaron Rodgers.) If James continues to give this dimension to the offense (and Fields) the Bears will be looking to keep him around a few more years.


Yep, two tight ends and a tackle. Are you ready for some football?

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