Bears offensive line features many players in new positions

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Bears unveil new-look offensive line unit originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears unveiled the first iteration of their new look offensive line on Tuesday. We already knew change was coming when free agent signee Lucas Patrick revealed he was going to play center. But as it turns out that was just the beginning of the tweaks up front. In addition to Patrick taking over in the middle, Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins switched sides, with Borom now playing left tackle and Jenkins playing right tackle. Former center Sam Mustipher also slid over one spot to line up at right guard. In fact the only man who played in the same spot as last season was Cody Whitehair at left guard.

That doesn’t mean this is how the Bears will line up for Week 1. In fact, Eberflus said the team will move players around the field at various position groups, not just on the O-line.

“A guy could be playing X receiver or Z receiver, or U tight end or Y tight end, left defensive end, right defensive endー We’re going to play with a lot of different combinations right now. Because we’re just trying to figure out what guys do and what they do best.”

There’s no deadline for when the team wants to have its offensive line set, either. It depends on how long it takes for the team to feel confident that they’ve got the right lineup. If that’s all the way up to the Bears’ first game, so be it.

“I think you have to be flexible with that and see what guys can do,” Eberflus said. “And then push boundaries. I think you want to push boundaries with players and say, OK, we’re going to push you to this point or put you in a new spot and put you in a different way to see if you can do it. And then, yes, you can do it. Or, hey, it’s a little bit of a struggle, keep working at it, keep working at it. Keep coaching him. And then he might get it. At whatever position. So I think you have to push them that way. Challenge ‘em.”

The offensive line will certainly be challenged to keep Justin Fields upright more often this season. They’ll have to learn a new zone blocking scheme for the run game, too. But based on the numerous changes we’ve seen to the group in the early goings of the offseason, it’s safe to say they’re invested in improving up front, no matter how long it takes.

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