Bears Pre-Camp Check; OT

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Chicago Bears

    Pre-camp check: Offensive tackles

    June, 27, 2014
    Jun 27
    9:00
    AM ET
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com

    Overview: Rising second-year right tackle Jordan Mills believes the Bears are “very close” to fielding a Super Bowl offense, and that is not merely overconfidence. Because in the next breath, Mills is quick to say there is "not one thing I do great or good enough that I don’t need to work on." He constantly asks, "What can I do to become a great player, a great teammate and help this team?"

    [​IMG]
    Bushrod
    [​IMG]
    Mills
    That attitude, it seems, has become contagious for the entire offense, not just the offensive line and could serve the team well in its quest to improve upon last season. Obviously, one major component in the offense’s improvement came as the result of better protection provided by Mills and left tackle Jermon Bushrod.

    In 2013, quarterback Jay Cutler suffered the fewest sacks of his tenure with the Chicago Bears.

    With Busrod and Mills penciled in once again as the starters at tackle for 2014, the hopes is the sack numbers will drop even more.

    "We’re gonna be tested," Mills said.

    Battle to watch: Credit general manager Phil Emery for stocking the roster with so much depth at offensive tackle from the top of the depth chart to the bottom. It is expected that Eben Britton will seize the top backup role on the right side, but the left side is up for grabs now that Jonathan Scott is no longer with the team. Seventh-round pick Charles Leno Jr. could find himself battling with Joe Long, Michael Ola and perhaps James Brown for that spot. The runner-up in that battle could wind up still making the roster as a backup.

    Dark horse: Britton finally feels completely healthy after an injury-plagued start to his career in Jacksonville, and it showed last season when he was given opportunities to play. Britton served as the second tight end in some formations, but also received time on the line in various situations. The club likes Mills, and believes he has a bright future as the starting right tackle. But if Mills is slowed in his recovery from a broken foot during training camp, there is a chance Britton could seriously contend for a starting spot.

    Who makes the cut: Bushrod, Britton and Mills, would appear to be locks to make the team. Long and Leno could wind up with the final two spots, but remember that Ola has experience with Trestman as the two worked together with the Montreal Alouettes.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It really is great to hear the attitude that Trestman has instilled in these guys. From top to bottom these guys are beginning to realize the sacrifices necessary to win championships and they're all hard at it trying to improve their games. If it's not an article about Brandon Marshall at the top of the heap then it's about Shea McClellin embracing what he needs to do in order to make a position change and regain the respect of his teammates and coaches.

    Today there was even an article about how Khaseem Greene has lost weight and is working to improve his game in order to remove the smudge on his career that was the 2013 season. So even the guys on the bubble are taking this winning thing seriously because they know it they don't they won't be here long. I've never seen the competition for roster spots as intense as it is this year. Phil Emery has done a good job of upgrading the roster.

    I'm a fan of Jordan Mills and I'm a fan of Eben Britton too. Mills played well for a rookie and when he went down in the last game Britton was prepared to step in and there was no decline in play as far as I could tell. Now Mills is a year older and a year more experienced and Britton sounds like he's a year farther away from some injuries that stymied his growth as an OT. I'm still not confident about his ability to handle LT but it would appear that we have two very solid RTs.

    The battle for a backup to Bushrod should be an interesting one to watch during the preseason games. None of the prospects are top draft picks or have previously shown much immediate ability to sub for Bushrod but out of that pack we need to find someone who can. My money is probably on Leno and Long being the two front runner. Brown has been around for a couple of years and has never grown into it and Ola isn't much more than a wild card right now.

    I like our top three but I sure hope we can find one more out of this bunch that has the same upside as I see in Mills. If we play at a high level and make the playoffs each year we will never get a shot at a top LT prospect so I'd love to have one in the hopper while Kromer is still with us.
  3. weneedmorelinemen

    weneedmorelinemen Veteran

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    Are the Bears seriously going to carry Eben Britton as a RT backup only and not consider him for LT? What the hell kind of goofiness is that? Swing tackles should... well... swing. That would mean we need to carry one of these kids active on the roster as the backup LT.

    Eh, thinking about it I guess we could just carry Britton active, an injury happens, Britton finishes out the game and the kid that has been sitting the bench comes in at LT next game. I don't know. That just seems different than how I'm used to addressing the backup OL situation.
  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think on game day when they suit just seven or eight at most then he is the swing OT but having another OT on the roster whose inactive on game day is how they rolled last year with Scott. He was on the roster but to the best of my knowledge never even suited up for a game. I'm sure Britton will get some work there just to have him prepared but long term I don't think they see him as a future LT.

    One way or another we need to be developing a younger LT type to eventually replace Bushrod. I think it's almost like having a developmental QB because both positions can take a few years to develop. They may or may not carry him on the 53 man roster depending on his current level of skill and a possible need to protect him but I think it's a good idea to have one in the hopper. Leno seems like he may be a guy they're looking to for that.

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