Chicago Bears offensive guard expects ‘intense’ practices, wants ‘competition’

Chicago Bears offensive guard Cody Whitehair is happy with the direction team is going in

Some Chicago Bears players went a little too hard in drills during the team’s recent OTAs. Bears offensive guard Cody Whitehair said on Wednesday the potent practices were needed with the team’s youth and “high expectations.”

“It’s intense, don’t get me wrong. But you know this team is young and we kind of need that intense practice and expectation from the group,” he said. Intense practices are good for the Bears in the long run, Whitehair said. Whitehair believes the Bears are headed in the right direction with players working hard.

The Bears’ intense practices caused the team to have to forfeit Tuesday’s OTA after being found to violate the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. Bears players were warned in a team meeting they needed to stay up and have less contact during drills but did not alter this practice enough. Head coach Matt Eberflus told the media Wednesday the Bears have done a better job since at practicing in compliance.

Overall, players have done a nice job staying up during drills, Whitehair said, but sometimes players fall to the ground during practice in the physical game that is football. Of players staying on their feet during the Bears OTA, “That’s tough to do. It’s our job to fire off the ball,” Whitehair said.

Bears offensive linemen are competing for starting jobs

New combinations of offensive lineman being tried during practice aren’t a surprise to Whitehair. The six-year veteran said those positions change constantly with injuries and other variables. Currently, the Bears are looking at who will start on an offensive line that gave up 58 sacks last season. The new regime wants to make changes to that group this season.

The Bears reportedly shook up the offensive tackle position in OTA’s this week. Rookie Braxton Jones is being seen at starting left tackle, with Larry Borom at right. Teven Jenkins is with the second team at right tackle. Jenkins went to right tackle, with Borom going to the left side for voluntary minicamp.

“The one thing they have been apparent with us is they’re going to play the best five,” Whitehair said. Whitehair relishes the fight. “That’s what we want. We want that competition,” he said. “We want, you know, to bring out the best in every player.” Bears’ offensive lineman have responded to the challenge well, he said. The effort has been there with the group.

Part of the change this season has been for the line to get slimmer. Whitehair lost about 10-pounds this offseason. “It’s been pretty easy for me. You know, I wasn’t too-too heavy I guess, if you will, Whitehair said, “But it’s been pretty smooth.”

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