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Details have emerged to finally explain the mysterious demotion of Teven Jenkins

Details have emerged to finally explain the mysterious demotion of Teven Jenkins

It’s not even training camp yet and head coach Matt Eberflus has found a way to surprise people. His Chicago Bears coaching staff shocked many media outlets when they reshuffled the offensive line near the end of OTAs. After going with Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins at left and right tackle, they moved that combination to rookie Braxton Jones and Borom. Jenkins was moved to right tackle on the second team attack.

The head coach tried to play the game as the team just experimented with different combinations. However, that doesn’t count with someone who has common sense. If so, Borom would have been demoted at some point. A player is not removed from such a starting position unless he shows something the coaches don’t like. Still, without much context, it’s been hard to figure out what it is with Jenkins.

Now we can finally have an idea.

The Bears held their first of three veteran minicamps on Tuesday. As the offensive drills unfolded, it was clear that the same combination was in place on the offensive line – Jones at left tackle and Borom on right. Jenkins was still on the second team. It was there that members of the media got their first glimpse of what might be the problem that convinced the coaches that change was needed. Nicholas Moreano of CHGO.com spotted him during practice.

“Northern Arizona rookie defensive end Carson Taylor made a few good plays throughout practice. Against the attack of the second team, Taylor beat right tackle Teven Jenkins to the outsidethen throw the block to work inside and Taylor would have been in perfect position to tackle the running back.

It would be one thing if Taylor was a higher draft pick in the 1st or 2nd round. They are expected to show their potential in practice. He is not. The kid was an undrafted free agent. Getting beaten up by people like him during drills is a red flag. He’s a former 2nd-round pick, someone the previous regime traded for. They considered him a franchise-caliber tackle. For him, being beaten by undrafted rookies is not encouraging.

Teven Jenkins’ future may not be at the tackle.

Even before last year’s draft, some pundits feared he was playing on the outside. They cited his shorter-than-preferred arms and average movement speed as weaknesses that were difficult to overcome in passing situations. Due to the fact that Jenkins didn’t play much last season, the problem never surfaced enough to raise alarm bells. Now that he’s healthy, he’s done every rep in training so far.

It didn’t go as hoped. Now, this can be a temporary thing. Teven Jenkins spent most of last season working at left tackle. Since Eberflus and his team took over, they decided to put it back on the right side. These setbacks might require him to retrain his muscles to remember that side. Again, such adjustments are not so difficult that a player is regularly beaten by saves during exercises.

It is a problem.

If the current starting combination ends up holding, then the Bears have a decision to make. Either they keep Jenkins as a substitute at tackle or they consider changing his position again. This time it would be inside to keep. It might be a better long-term fit for him. This would alleviate length and speed issues while accentuating its excellent power. He still has a lot of talent. It’s up to coaches to find the best way to use it.

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