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Chicago Bears Encouraged by Rookies on the Offensive Line

August 22nd, 2013 at 9:50 AM
By Evan Fitzgerald

'Bears Player Introductions' photo (c) 2007, Tony - license:

The Chicago Bears are in the middle of a youth movement on the offensive line.  Both rookie right tackle Jordan Mills and rookie right guard Kyle Long have impressed so far this preseason, and could be in line to crack the starting lineup on opening day.

The duo isn't just impressing outside observers.  Count running back Matt Forte among the impressed.  He told the Chicago Sun Times:

"They're doing a good job.  I'm really impressed, especially by Jordan.  I didn't even really notice him during OTA's because we didn't have pads on.  But he stepped up during camp and has been doing a great job.  They did a great job [last week against the San Diego Chargers]… if we can get a push off the ball on the line of scrimmage and… I can basically use my vision in the zone-blocking scheme and find a hole, [then] I think we'll be fine in the running game."

That's great news for a Bears' team that's struggled to find any consistency on the offensive line for years.  Last year's starting left tackle, J'Marcus Webb has been banished to second-team duty.  And last year's would-be starting right tackle, Gabe Carimi, was traded in the offseason.

The positive signs are there, but not everyone is ready to hand the keys to Mills and Long just yet.  Quarterback Jay Cutler told the Sun Times:

"[They're] doing well [but] got a ways to go.  I think everyone on offense, including myself, we're still in the learning process, we're still figuring things out as we move along, but it's positive to see [Long and Mills] perform the way they did."

The rookies will get their next test Friday, when the Bears travel to Oakland for their third preseason game.  All of the first stringers are expected to play at least the first half against the Raiders.




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Tags: Chicago, Chicago Bears, Football, Gabe Carimi, J'Marcus Webb, Jay Cutler, Jordan Mills, Kyle Long, Matt Forte, NFL, Offensive line

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