Bears rookie OT Braxton Jones not letting his opportunity go to waste

·2 min read

Fifth-round rookie Braxton Jones is the Bears’ presumptive starter at left tackle heading into the final preseason game. In fact, it’s seemed like that since the start of the preseason, even with all of the changes along the offensive line.

But when listening to Jones, he sounds like someone who’s still looking to prove himself heading into Saturday’s preseason finale against the Browns. He’s anything but complacent.

“Just gotta get better every day and continue to do my job and not let this opportunity go to waste,” Jones said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. It’s a great opportunity to show what I can do. So I’ve got to continue to seize the opportunity and not really worry about being surprised.”

While Jones has appeared like a veteran in his approach and performance, he’s still very much a rookie with plenty to learn. But with Jones slated to start from Day 1, he’s going to have to learn on the job. And he knows exactly where he needs to improve.

“I would say the biggest thing for me is anchor on the bull rush a little bit more, be prepared for it,” Jones said. “ I’ve kind of put it on film that people can bull rush me, so that’s what people are going to do. So just be more prepared for it and throw my hands. In the last preseason game, I wasn’t throwing my hands very well, and I’ve just got to use my hands more and more efficiently.”

Luckily, Jones has had the benefit of going up against All-Pro Robert Quinn during practice this summer. And while Quinn has gotten the best of Jones, there have been times when Jones has held his own against Quinn.

“Some of the rushers just don’t get to the point as quick as Robert Quinn does,” Jones said. “So that’s the biggest thing for me is still having that good timing. They want to run around the edge. Robert Quinn gets to you really quickly, so then your hands are much quicker. But then when it’s a longer wait, I still have to have that punch timing.”

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire