Teven Jenkins Still Uneasy After Trade Discussion
Teven Jenkins should be enjoying his status among Bears offensive line starters about now, as the team gets set to close preseason at Cleveland.
Instead, those earlier trade rumors haunt him and with final cuts coming next week he’s still talking about putting plays down on film for other teams to see.
“Ultimately, any film is good film,” Jenkins said Thursday at Halas Hall. “So no matter if I’m gonna be here or no matter or however, I know you (media) know the trade rumors and all that stuff, wherever that may be, I’m trying to get good film and be the best player I can be for myself.
“And hopefully right now it’s for the Chicago Bears.”
It wouldn’t be out of the question for the Bears to trade him but their guard situation at the moment makes it seem unlikely. Jenkins seems to be outplaying Michael Schofield at right guard and the other candidate is rookie seventh-rounder Ja’Tyre Carter.
Nevertheless, coach Matt Eberflus is not calling his offensive line set in stone for the opener, even though Saturday’s game will be the second straight for the same group at these positions.
“I think we’re still in that evaluation mode with the offensive line,” Eberflus said. “We’re still looking at a lot of guys. We’re still looking at the combinations.
“I know we’re kind of solidified as of late, the recent one that’s been out there. But we’re still, this thing, is still open. The competition is still open. So everybody’s got to put their best foot forward. They’ve got to perform this Saturday. They’ve got to get it done on the field.”
It could be so much coachspeak designed to make sure the offense doesn’t go into the tank while playing a full half of meaningless football against Cleveland.
After all, it was Eberflus who was much more positive about Larry Borom as a starter at right tackle when asked if he is the starter.
“He’s been consistent,” Eberflus said of Borom. “He’s been relatively consistent. He’s doing a good job in there. Right now, he’s in that position as a starter.
“He’s got competition behind him and we’ll see what happens and see if he can sustain that execution all the way through.”
Scroll to Continue
The difference? Eberflus didn’t mention Jenkins as being in the position as starter and he did with Borom
Eberflus also said of Jenkins, “He’s starting to get more comfortable.”
There is a difference for Jenkins as he adjusts to having defensive players closer to him now than at tackle.
“When you move inside the game happens a little bit more fast than it does on the outside,” center Sam Mustipher said. “But yeah he’s improving every day, getting used to it, understanding that the fight is going to start way faster than it does at tackle (where) you get a little bit more space.
“Yeah, it’s been cool to work alongside him, you know. In terms of physical gifts, Teven is as gifted as anybody that I have been around.”
Gifted, but he hadn’t played guard since his redshirt freshman year at Oklahoma State.
“A lot of the things have to do with eyes and having to understand where’s the defense lining up and everything, and being able to communicate with your tackle, tell him where’s the Mike (middle linebacker) and understanding like blitz looks and everything like that,” Jenkins said.
It’s still been a rather remarkable turnaround from his back surgery last year, to moved off of left tackle to right tackle, to the bench, to trade rumors and suddenly starter at a new position.
“I would just say it’s been like a roller coaster and a mix of emotions for me,” Jenkins said. “Going from (No.) 2 or right tackle (No.) 3, right tackle to go to second right guard and I’m starting right now. It’s a lot about seizinig opportunity.
“That’s one thing I’m looking forward to doing this weekend.”
That is, unless someone else comes along and makes the Bears a trade offer they can’t refuse, seizing Jenkins for themselves.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.