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With just under 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter in the Bears’ preseason matchup with the Chiefs, Teven Jenkins made a block that Bears fans hoped he would make consistently in Chicago after he was drafted out of Oklahoma State.
On first-and-10, Jenkins came unblocked to the second level and completely annihilated Chiefs’ linebacker Jack Cochrane.
After Jenkins made the block, he immediately thought of his offensive line coach Chris Morgan.
“Only thing I hear in my head is ‘Drive your fucking feet.’ You know, that’s the only thing I hear from my O-line coach,” Jenkins said. “That was the only thing that was running through my mind when that happened. Then ultimately when I was coming off, I was like, ‘Damn.’ As I was crawling over him and his helmet was coming off, I’m like ‘Shit.’”
Jenkins played primarily with the third team in the Bears’ 19-14 victory, but he also saw time with the second unit. In total, Jenkins played 36 snaps (16 run and 20 pass). There were some good and some bad plays, but that’s to be expected for someone who was still in the “ramp up” period.
“It was great. Just trying to get back into it and getting the actual tempo of the game speed and just being able to trust my back,” Jenkins said. “These are the things, the steps you have to take for yourself to feel like you’re 100 percent healthy.”
For Jenkins, it’s been quite the journey to feeling fully healthy. A week before Saturday’s preseason game, he made his first appearance in training camp after missing the first seven practices. While Jenkins was out of practice, coach Matt Eberflus said he was working with trainers on a non-disclosed injury.
What’s important though is that Jenkins is feeling better and getting playing time, making the most of his opportunities regardless of what unit he is playing on.
Despite playing primarily against the Chiefs’ reserves, Jenkins found plenty of benefits in getting live game action.
“Just basically understanding all the lessons I got from this game as in getting out in a pass stance, getting over there in the right position, understanding where linebackers are lined up and all that. You know, just all the stuff you have to learn from tape.”
When Jenkins watches the tape of his block on Cochrane, he will be reminded of why he was drafted No. 39 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
It’s that type of block and the physicality displayed in it that will leave a lasting impression on this new coaching staff. Jenkins knows that, but right now he isn’t getting too far ahead of himself and instead is just looking to control what he can.
“I’m loving right tackle right now and ultimately it’s not up to me,” Jenkins said. “I’m going to let upper management deal with that, so I’ll just keep playing football at right tackle for the Chicago Bears right now.”
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