At the quarter mark of the Chicago Bears season, how has Charles Leno played?
With the Chicago Bears bye week being the quarter mark of the season it is a good chance to recap the first four games to evaluate and look for trends moving forward. With that in mind, how has left tackle Charles Leno held up? He is always an interesting talk when it comes to Bears fans as opinions vary.
However, as mentioned in the past, he has been the teams best run blocker regarding blown assignments. The team has not run the football off tackle too often, but they have been much better off of the left tackle than the right tackle and saw some of their most successful runs come off of the left tackle last week.
Regarding pass protection, Charles Leno has fared very well. This season Mitch Trubisky has dropped back to pass the football 140 times. Charles Leno was responsible for one sack, one quarterback hit, and two quarterback pressures. He also had two losses that did not affect Trubisky but would be considered a lost rep.
That is very strong when you consider that his sack allowed was to Chandler Jones, who just so happened to lead the NFL in sacks in 2017. However, if you ask Jones, I bet he would tell you that Charles Leno had a great game, and challenged Jones throughout the day.
Leno did a great job of extending his arms and getting Jones to re-route his path and stretch further than he would like. With Leno doing a steady job of forcing Jones outside, the Cardinals threw a stunt at him later in the game.
The play is linked here. Chandler Jones takes a hard step to the outside as if he is giving in and looking to beat Leno around the edge with speed. However, he stunts back inside and number 56, Zach Moore comes in at Leno from the interior. Leno takes a hard step to compete with Jones but has to backtrack quickly. He was able to pick up Moore and hold his block a lot better than the interior did with Jones. That is a tough block and shows great balance and understanding to position himself.
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The quarterback hit came from Jason Pierre-Paul, who was credited for a sack, but as we broke down was more on Massie. Still, like Jones, Pierre-Paul had a tough day at the office.
One thing to note is that his pressures and losses all came on stunts. The Cardinals threw one at him in Week Three, and he picked it up, but Jones also faked outside and was able to juke through Leno to get a pressure.
It is likely from this pass rush that Reggie Gilbert threw at Leno. The play is linked here. You can see that Gilbert catches Leno off guard. However, in this play, Leno does a great job recovering and pushing Gilbert out of the way.
Still, Frank Clark saw that on tape and thought he could get home faster than Gilbert. He tried it in Week Two and it the other pass rushers have followed. It has shown to be his weak spot so far this season.
Overall, you cannot be disappointed with one or two losses over 20 to 30 pass attempts, especially when he is typically recovering well enough for them not to affect the play completely.
Leno will have some ironing out to do to be a complete left tackle, but he has moved from average to above average, and no one can be disappointed with where he is right now.