That Braxton Jones hype train picked up more steam

That Braxton Jones hype train picked up more steam

With that things started to get interesting Chicago Bears An offensive line toward the end of mandatory minicamp. Most people focused on the big news of Teven Jenkins being relegated to the second team offense. However, an equally significant development was a rookie 5th round pick. Braxton Jones Slide to the first left handle position. It was something no one predicted when practices began in May.

Still, expected health will reassert itself in training camp. That was reinforced when the Bears signed the veteran tackle Riley Ref. On the left, on the right, Larry Borrom or Jenkins. Except once the first packed camp practice started, that wasn’t the case. Reiff had moved to the starting right tackle position, and there was Jones, running on the left side with the first team.

The text is key here.

The Bears have changed their offensive line since starting camp in search of combinations that could work. Their decision to move Reiff to right tackle appears to stem from Boroom struggling in pass protection. Mostly on Travis Gipson. Reiff played right last season in Cincinnati, where the Bengals made a run to the Super Bowl. So the experience on that side confirmed. Their reluctance to trust Jones in that position cannot be ignored.

Whenever the rookie is in front of the press, he comes across as intelligent and mature for his age. He knows his responsibilities and is working tirelessly to improve his craft. It will be easy to find out why coaches give opportunities. He is approaching his work in the right way, which should be rewarded. He seems to be showing enough on the practice field to get a real shot at the starting job.

Braxton Jones’s chances may hinge on a key issue.

It’s pass protection. In the first part of training camp, the Bears’ offensive line has struggled to keep Justin Fields from getting tackled. Running the ball may be the focal point of this offense, but the coaching staff knows how to defend the QB issues. That’s one of the reasons they downgraded Jenkins. His foot speed and average arm length make him a liability in that class. Borough seems to be struggling too.

Coming out of college, scouts surrounded Braxton Jones’ pass protection as his primary strength. He had the size, length and foot speed necessary to dominate NFL pass rushers. The only hurdles he has to clear are hand technique and pad level. Based on the amount of work the #1 offense gets, he should make big improvements in those areas.

There is no indication that this new line-up is in place.

Bears coaches may continue testing during the first week or two of the preseason. However, they must know that there will come a point where they can choose a starting five and play together. Chemistry is as important as skill on the offensive line. It will be quite a story if the Bears trust a rookie to guard the blind side of the field.

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