One of the most important parts of the rookie acclimation process is getting to know your teammates. Once that process begins, the next step is to turn into a sponge and absorb anything and everything you can to get up to speed.
Not only is second-round rookie tackle Teven Jenkins doing just that, he’s doing so while communicating with the exact right person to help him achieve success from the start:
.@TevenJenkins says he's very appreciative of new teammate Cody Whitehair, calling him "a helping hand" and sharing that they've talking back and forth since he was drafted.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 14, 2021
It’s good to see Jenkins and Cody Whitehair getting off on the right foot. Jenkins and Whitehair aren’t just teammates. Heck, they aren’t even just two guys who share space in the offensive line room. Early projections suggest Jenkins and Whitehair will be the starting left side of the offensive line. And that’s why these two making an early connection is important.
Chicago needs Jenkins (at tackle) and Whitehair (at guard) on the same page for the line to be successful. From there, if the line is successful, then the quarterback will follow. It doesn’t matter if it’s Andy Dalton or Justin Fields under center. If the Bears’ line can keep their QB upright, good things can happen for the offense.
We saw the Bears offensive line have a late-season resurgence with Whitehair moving to left guard and inserting Sam Mustipher at center. The challenge here will be to get Jenkins up and running at left tackle after showing out on the right side while at Oklahoma State. I imagine having someone with Whitehair’s skill set next to Jenkins will help matters. And while there are still questions about how the right side of the line will shake out, that’s a bridge we can cross in due time.
In the meantime, Jenkins and Whitehair need to continue building on this connection. Here’s to the start of a wonderful partnership.