With the regular season less than a month away, Bears offensive lineman Teven Jenkins finds himself pushing for a starting job. There’s no doubt that his clearest route to cracking the starting lineup is at right guard, a position he just started taking reps at during last week’s practice.
It’s clear the Bears are encouraged by Jenkins’ potential at right guard, which is why he got ample time inside during Thursday’s preseason win over the Seahawks. That also included reps with the first-team offense, where Jenkins held his own and made the case for him to start. But he still recognizes that he’s got some work to do.
“I felt like I did good,” Jenkins told NBC Sports Chicago. “It’s just, overall, I have some good things, bad things to clean up, and that might be because of my adjustment period going to guard.
“The NFL is about production now. They don’t care how long it takes, it needs to happen now. I need to ramp up my process to go from tackle to guard.”
As Jenkins continues to make the rapid transition from tackle to guard, he pinpointed what he still needs to work on.
“Still getting the playbook and learn all the guard’s responsibilities, steps, and all my responsibilities because, at a certain point, I was still a little hazy at certain things,” Jenkins said. “But I know that I trust Sam Mustipher, I trust Larry Borom to always put me in a good spot. Having trust in those guys and them having trust in me is just assuring myself that I can be able to do it.”
Earlier this week, offensive line coach Chris Morgan pointed out how Jenkins’ skillset makes him a good fit at guard in this scheme. But for Jenkins, there are still difficulties when making then transition on the fly.
“The use of my eyes,” he said. “Because at tackle, you get so fixated on, like you’re on the outside and you can the whole thing basically out there because there is nothing blocking you. Now you have a defensive end and a corner that you have to watch out for too, and that’s from like an all-closed stance. Just basically trying to use my eyes is what I’m trying to do.”
For his first NFL game at guard, Jenkins did well. To the point where it didn’t look like he had only a couple of practices at right guard under his belt. The expectation is Jenkins will get plenty more looks at right guard in practice and in next Saturday’s preseason finale against the Browns.