Chicago Bears Film Review: Charles Leno

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 15: Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky /

The Chicago Bears played two games in four days. How did their left tackle hold up in that span?

With a quick turnaround from Minnesota to Detroit comes an extended break for the Chicago Bears to review the wave of games. When thinking back at that quick span, Charles Leno was tested in a significant way. He took on Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen of the Minnesota Vikings and then turned around to take on the Detroit Lions and Ziggy Ansah.

Those are some prominent names in a quick period. With that in mind, how did the Chicago Bears left tackle hold up?

Everson Griffen

Leno did his best work on Everson Griffen. The two had a good duel, but at the end of the day, Leno got the better of Griffen. The matchup can be highlighted by a stuff from Leno highlighted here. 

Griffen starts outside, and Leno reacts by widening his stance. When Leno widens, Griffen is back inside with a vicious spin move, one of his best moves. However, Leno is prepared for the move and is light on his feet. Watch how he can keep his hands high and bounce with Griffen as he stuffs every attempt Griffen throws at him.

Danielle Hunter

Hunter was a bit of a tougher task. However, Leno held up very well against the emerging superstar. The first play linked here shows great understanding by Leno. Mackensie Alexander shows blitz. You can see Leno flash his hand out. He is signaling he sees the blitz, and that he still needs to pick up Danielle Hunter. When Eric Kendricks blitzes in, he is picked up by Daniels, and Jordan Howard gets the blitzes as signaled. This is great communication and understanding by all three.

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The play linked here is a great battle between the two. Leno is able to get the first push and reroute Hunter. However, Hunter is so strong and athletic that he is able to maintain and use his bend to make up ground. Mitch Trubisky was able to get the throw off, mainly because of that first initial push by Leno.

The play linked here sent Trubisky into a scramble that resulted in a first down. First Hunter tries to shimmy Leno, but he holds his ground, and once again is able to get his hands on Hunter first to push him off.

However, once again Hunter has the edge in strength and athleticism. He gets ahold of Leno’s hands and pushes him back. With Leno off balance, he is able to dip under him and get the quarterback free. Leno was able to slow down Hunter, but he did not stonewall him the way in which he handled Griffen.

Ezekiel Ansah

After a tough Sunday night, Leno went to Detroit to take on Ansah, who was injured the last time these two teams met. Leno did allow to sack to Ansah, which is highlighted here and was broken down here in the weekly sack breakdown.  With that in mind, this was likely a worse performance than Minnesota.

However, of the three, Hunter likely had the most success. Trubisky avoided a sack against Hunter while Daniel did not is the difference. While Leno struggled with Hunter on his good reps, Leno did have some good reps against Ansah.

On this play here he does a great job of forcing Ansah to extend his path to the quarterback outside. He gets his first step before Ansah and gets his hands on him first. Ansah is able to swim through, but Leno does not let up. He recovers well and seals off Ansah from getting anywhere near the pocket.

The play here is just as impressive. The defensive tackle is trying to stunt with Ansah. However, Leno gets a push on Ansah and shoves him into the lineman. It turns the Lions line into a muddled mess, and nothing is accomplished.

However, this last play was likely his worst rep of the four days. Fortunately for him, it was just a bad read by him. The clip is linked here. Ansah delays before rushing and Leno moves on thinking that he is dropping into coverage. However, it set up a one-on-one with Ansah on Ben Braunecker. Leno was smart to help his teammates without Ansah rushing but needed to keep the presence to help if he rushes.