There is a legitimate excitement around the Chicago Bears’ young offensive line that hasn’t been there in several years. Probably not since Kyle Long first arrived in the league ten years ago. So it’s rather fitting he got the chance to watch tape on the group with Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic. Everybody has varying opinions on how the unit has played, but few can see it through the experienced eyes of a three-time Pro Bowl guard. One conclusion he didn’t take long to reach is that Chicago has two legitimate studs in Teven Jenkins and Darnell Wright.
Long loves how both players approach blocking, specifically how they finish plays in the run game. Both are maulers. Their keen awareness in pass protection also stands out. Jenkins’ outstanding block in Detroit that led to Justin Fields’ TD pass to D.J. Moore got lots of love. However, the play that got the most praise was reserved for Wright. It was a play where Long became convinced that the Bears definitively had their right tackle of the future.
It took place against All-Pro Maxx Crosby in the win over Las Vegas.
“This dude is a rolling ball of butcher knives,” Long said. “For Darnell Wright, this matchup is one that you have to be doubly confident in yourself and your skill set. To beat King Kong, you need Godzilla. Darnell Wright knows it’s going to be ugly and there’s going to be collateral damage.”
“This is the elite-level movement I’m talking about,” he said. “Darnell shuffling his hips to stay with Maxx Crosby, keep him off Bagent, keep the integrity of the pocket somewhat against one of the best rushers in the league. Not using his left arm. Faking with the right arm, so not using the right arm. He blocked him essentially with his hips and a hook. It’s not a hold because his hips are there.”
If Kyle Long approves, then the Bears did something right.
Remember, this guy isn’t just a great football player himself. He also comes from a football family. His father is in the Hall of Fame. This game is something that flows through his veins. He’s watched it with a critical eye since he was a kid. For him to shower such praise on Wright is beyond encouraging. It is a sign the Bears may have finally found a blue-chip talent for their offensive line. They haven’t had something like that since before Long himself began suffering his string of brutal injuries in the late 2010s.
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They may have two if Jenkins can stay healthy, which is a great sign for the Bears’ future. This group could be a quality center away from becoming one of the best in the NFL. That hasn’t been seen from this organization since the 1980s. Everybody remembers what happened back then. Kyle Long had never gotten the chance to play with such a unit. He thinks times are finally changing, and Wright could be the one to lead the way. As we all know, nobody messes with Godzilla.