Chicago Bears: Offensive Line a Work in Progress to Say the Least

Todd ThorstensonAnalyst IAugust 12, 2013

Jul 26, 2013; Bourbonnais, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) huddles with his teammates during training camp at Olivet Nazarene University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Chicago Bears offense did not look like a well-oiled machine during the first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers last Friday.

Jay Cutler was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage on a play where wide receiver Alshon Jeffery looked like he cut the route short, although Cutler accepted the blame saying he threw to the wrong shoulder.

There wasn't much of a running game at all as Matt Forte and Michael Bush combined to have 2 carries for 2 yards, while the leading rusher was third-string quarterback Matt Blanchard with 26 yards.

And the offensive line play wasn't sharp, particularly in pass coverage, as they allowed a total of seven sacks. However, only one sack was allowed by the first stringers as J'Marcus Webb got beaten badly early on—what's new?

It was no doubt a less than stellar beginning for the newly revamped Bears offense and head coach Marc Trestman, but again, it was expected.

At least, it should have been expected. For those expecting the Bears offense to come out and look like world champions from the first snap, the game was probably a major disappointment.

But the truth is, you shouldn't have expected that at all.

They have installed a brand new offense and have an overhauled offensive line that is just coming together for the first time. They were also missing two of their top three receivers in Brandon Marshall and Earl Bennett.

We can analyze them all we want—or overanalyze them in many casesbut the fact remains that the offense is going to be a work in progress. It's also important to point out that the first stringers had about 10 snaps before coming off of the field—not a great sample size to critique from.

So I say, take a deep breath and relax.

Between now and the first snap of the regular season on September 8th, there is likely to be a lot of player movement at several positions, especially the offensive line.

In fact, there already have been changes on the line as it appears that rookie tackle Jordan Mills has taken over starting duties from the previously mentioned J'Marcus Webb on the right side. In addition, rookie first-round pick Kyle Long also took reps with the first-string line at right guard during Sunday's practice.

This means that as of right now, the Bears have two rookies starting on the right side of their line.

Is this concerning? Well, it's certainly not ideal.  

First, it would be great to have the starting offensive line already established so that they can begin to create some chemistry, which is imperative in line play.

It would also be nice to have a veteran at one of the two positions on the right sideand it may very well turn out that way. But for now, that's not the case.

Trestman stated"I wouldn't draw any conclusions about what's happened today. It really is part of our plan to find the best five over the course of training camp, and in Week 2 (of preseason) this is the way we're starting."

Whether it was part of the plan is debatable, but the changes were made.

And if you believe what Trestman says, those likely won't be the last.