Teven Jenkins didn’t get off to the best start in practice for the Chicago Bears. After lining up as the starting right tackle for most of May, he was demoted to second-team offense during veteran minicamps. It was the first red flag that something was wrong. He doesn’t show coaches what they want to see. That’s why they opted to move Larry Borom to right tackle and elevate rookie Braxton Jones to left tackle.
Jenkins knew going into this offseason that he had a lot of work to do. His rookie year provided several tough lessons about the amount of learning needed before you can face the league’s best point guards. He spoke with six-time Pro Bowler Olin Kreutz and former Bears fullback Jason McKie on their No Name Football podcast. He described the moment he realized he was no longer in college. He played with the big boys.
“Preston Smith was the first game I took over after JP (Jason Peters) went down, unfortunately. What happened was he did a little shoulder fake, came on with a long arm, and I felt how (he was) strong. Different from what I’m used to. And I had to go back into the weight room and really start focusing because I could feel the lack of core when you sit down and anchor yourself. When he did that shove it was all upper body. So I knew I couldn’t not focus on my core because that made me would help maintain those blocks and be stronger up front.
Teven Jenkins knew he had to learn the trade quickly.
As the Bears transitioned to a new offensive system under Luke Getsy, the best thing for him was to find tackles that thrived in similar versions of it. It didn’t take too long. The wide area offense helped many tackles play great football, but one name stood out way above the rest.
“One guy I had to start watching and paying attention to was Trent Williams. He’s on top right now. One of the best tackles in the NFL. He’s in his own world right now. I have started watching some of his tape and everything.
Williams played nine seasons in this attacking style during his career. He made the Pro Bowl in seven of those seasons. His size, power and athleticism have been a constant nightmare for defensive linemen. While Teven Jenkins isn’t quite as weird, he has enough attributes to thrive if he learns to play properly. If you’re going to model your game on anyone, you can do a lot worse than Williams. We only hope that the young tackler will understand it quickly.
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