Jones ‘answered the phone’ against Quinn, continues to impress Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
LAKE FOREST – Many might have expected Braxton Jones to take a backseat to the Bears’ offensive line when they signed Riley Reiff to start camp. He didn’t.
When the pads came out, it was a prime example of how Jones looked like a rookie going up against NFL veterans Robert Quinn and Al-Quadin Muhammad. He didn’t. On the contrary, he shone.
“I think Braxton was a guy who was obviously a super-athletic kid and we were excited about the Spring Ball,” offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said Friday. “Then you hit the pads and there was no fear. Going against Robert Quinn, your very first one-on-one, right? It scares. He came out and did a great job. did a very good job for us.”
The race hasn’t been announced yet, but we’re getting close to the point where it will be a surprise if Jones doesn’t start in the left tackle. This week in training camp, he received almost all the snaps of the first team and did not flinch, as many expected.
The Bears value Jones incredibly highly. Although they selected him in the fifth round, many draft experts considered the Southern Utah product a 3rd or 4th round talent with a plus to start.
It’s clear the Bears agree and will give him every opportunity to prove he’s made to be an NFL left tackle.
Offensive line puzzle is the story of the Bears’ training camp during the first eight days. But eight days was not enough for the Bears to find the answers they are looking for.
“No,” Gatsy said when asked if the Bears’ first line was stacking up. “I think we are still far from many positions to be honest with you and this is one of them. and which guys are the most flexible for us. So we still have a lot of information to find out.”
It may be the story of the Bears, but that’s not what their actions tell us.
Since the pads came on Tuesday, the Bears’ offensive lineup has been fairly stable.
Jones and Cody Whitehair secured the left flank. Sam Mastifer and Doug Kramer were in and out of the center every now and then, but Mastifer started getting more shots as the week progressed. The same can be said for Michael Schofield, who overtook Ja’Tair Carter.
With the right tackle, Larry Borom took over all the first-team snaps on Tuesday. But as soon as the pads went, Borom had trouble defending the pass against Travis Gipson, and Raiff stepped in.
Over the past two days, Reiff learned how to roll correctly for the first time and fixed most of the snaps with them. Borom has cracks, but it looks like Raiff is pulling ahead.
The bears also remain adamant that Teven Jenkins will attend for the starting point when he is healthy. Time will tell if it passes the smell test.
As for Jones, he is not focused on what the future holds for him. He stays where his feet are.
“I have the same mindset,” Jones said during the first week of camp, when asked if the potential starter changed his approach. “I am determined to get better every day. I know I sound repetitive, but it really is. I’ve always been that way, even in college and high school, the same way I’ve always been. I’m going to do something, I’m going to be the best at what I do, so when I adopt this mindset, I’m just trying to be the best.
“Obviously everyone wants to start and everyone wants to play and make a lot of money. I think the best way to do this is to try to get better every day.”
Jones has continued to do this ever since pads were introduced. If he starts at left tackle and can put in a middle or top tackle coming out of the net, general manager Ryan Poles could have the first draft steal of his Bears career.
But the hesitant O-line of Jones and the Bears has a lot of work to do before any winning laps begin.
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