The Chicago Bears will try to keep their winning preseason vibes going tonight against the Seattle Seahawks at 7:00 p.m. (CT), and there are a few players I’m extra excited to watch play. Head coach Matt Ebefflus has indicated that many of the starters from last Saturday’s game would only play a handful of reps due to the short week, but I hope these guys get an extended look.
Here are the players I’m most looking forward to seeing tonight.
Last year’s second-round draft pick played right tackle a week ago, but during camp he saw reps at right guard, including running with the ones. Against the Chiefs he played 55% of their offensive reps, the third most on the team, but with his position switch I can’t see Eberflus holding him back.
“We kicked him inside, and he’s been there for a couple days, and he’s doing a good job,” Ebreflus said after practice on Tuesday. “And we’re excited where he goes from this forward.”
Eberflus went on to say that Jenkins is very smart and athletic and that he’s happy where he’s at. He said his coaching philosophy is not to put a ceiling on a player but to let him learn and grow at their own pace and see where that leads.
Borom flipped from right to left tackle during the K.C. game, and his play has to be putting some pressure on veteran Riley Reiff, who has missed a little time nursing an injury. Borom played just one less snap than Jenkins’ did a week ago, but like Jenkins, Borom could use the reps.
A rookie left tackle hasn’t opened up week one for the Bears since 1992 when Troy Auzenne did it, but Jones is on track to be the man on September 11 when the 49ers come to town. He was bull-rushed against the Chiefs, but that’s something he can correct with better technique. He showed awareness on the field, and he has the trust of the man lining up next to him, Cody Whitehair.
“Braxton’s going to be a good player,” Whitehair said on Tuesday. “The way he studies, the way he understands stuff. He’s very athletic, he’s got great length, he uses his hands well. I really like where Braxton’s at right now.”
Jones only had 18 snaps in the K.C. game, so he could be in line to play more than the 6 to 10 snaps that Eberflus said his starters would see.
Back up center
With Sam Mustipher starting due to the Lucas Patrick injury and Doug Kramer recently placed on injured reserve, I’m curious to see what Chicago’s plan is at backup center. Newly signed Corey Dublin, a UDFA rookie from Tulane, has a big opportunity to showcase his snapping skills, but holdover Dieter Eiselen has played some center in the past.
I’d like to see Cole Kmet, David Montgomery, Velus Jones Jr., and Kyler Gordon all make their preseason debuts, but I’m staying on brand this week and focusing on the trenches.
Who are you guys looking forward to watching tonight?