Why are the Chicago Bears not starting Teven Jenkins?
The Chicago Bears are four weeks into the season, and they’re still holding in-game tryouts for right guard. It’s because of a less-than-ideal Wednesday practice from one of the top-producing linemen — Teven Jenkins.
Now, it makes some sense considering the age of the offensive line and Matt Eberflus’ coaching style, but holding in-game tryouts and rotating the offensive line every drive or every other drive isn’t the way to do it.
Offensive lines — especially the young offensive line of the Chicago Bears — need to be on the same page during a game. If they’re being rotated every other drive, there’s no time for chemistry to build. This is evident in the game film — Teven Jenkins is the better guard when comparing him and Lucas Patrick.
The Chicago Bears need to stop the nonsense and start Teven Jenkins at RG
In Week 4 against the Giants, Lucas Patrick stepped in at left guard once Cody Whitehair sustained a knee injury, and his performance was flat-out bad.
That said, Teven Jenkins looked better than he did the week before, yet it doesn’t seem as if Jenkins has a concrete starting position. His chances are likely better now with Whitehair missing time, but that shouldn’t have been what it took to start Jenkins full-time.
Against the Giants, Justin Fields was pressured on 51.4% of his dropbacks. For a team that wants to instill confidence into a struggling quarterback, this isn’t the way to do it. Rotating the linemen all game isn’t how this should be going.
For the Chicago Bears to have the best chance of a clean pocket for Justin Fields and open lanes for David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert, the offensive line should look as follows:
- RT: Larry Borom
- RG: Teven Jenkins
- C: Lucas Patrick
- LG: Michael Schofield
- LT: Braxton Jones
After watching the game against New York, the Chicago Bears probably shouldn’t start Sam Mustipher at center anymore. Or anywhere on the offensive line, really.
Lucas Patrick had 822 snaps last season with the Green Bay Packers, so it’s clear he can play the position to at least some degree. In the 2021-22 season with Green Bay, Patrick ended with a 57.2 Pro Football Focus (PFF) Grade — if those matter to you.
In the same scope of PFF grades, the 2022-23 overall grade for Sam Mustipher is 53.2— which includes a 22.7 pass blocking grade.
Lastly, I might as well bring up Teven Jenkins‘ PFF grade. This season, Jenkins’ overall grade is 68.5, which ranks third among the Chicago Bears offensive line.
First place goes to Cody Whitehair with 76.3, and second goes to Larry Borom with 71.9.
At the end of the day, while it’s understandable why Eberlus wants to make Teven Jenkins earn a starting spot via consistent practices, it’s getting to be too late in the season to be having these mid-game tryouts.
Start the best five players, and produce some offense because of it.