With the Bears four days away from their first preseason game, the offensive line is ready to test itself against a new defense.
Veteran tackle Riley Reiff has seen steady progress not just from the O-line group, but the entire offense throughout the beginning of training camp. However, it's hard for Reiff to fully assess his group when they face off against the same guys every day, who still have tackling and hitting limitations.
"We see a great defensive line every day, but it's good to go against another," Reiff said. "Obviously, our defensive linemen aren't getting close to the quarterback and stuff like that. We have to have a sense of urgency to finish that half second longer, make the correct calls and see the right stuff."
Another crucial part to Saturday's game against the Chiefs is the group taking more live snaps and building more chemistry as a unit.
The offensive line has shuffled around each practice, with most players getting reps with the first and second team. With the starting line yet to be determined, Reiff sees an importance in continuing to play next to different guys in order to prepare for anything during the season.
"Never seems like we have enough days. You can never get enough reps together," Reiff said. "During the season, you'll have guys go down, getting reps with other guys. We've just got to keep stacking days and keep improving. It's not just stacking days; it's getting better every day. I think we're starting to get there just from a standpoint of going out there, getting up to the line, making our calls, communicating, then technique is gonna come. The steps are gonna come, the hands are gonna come, but the main thing is just getting to the line, getting the communication done, getting set."
After spending the first day of training camp at left tackle, Reiff has focused in on the right tackle position. When the coaches switched him to the opposite side, Reiff had no questions. While he's played most of his career at left tackle, he also spent a couple years on the right side. Reiff said wherever the coaches want him to play or whatever role they want him to assume, he'll be ready to go.
Rookie Braxton Jones has taken the majority of snaps at the left tackle spot. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said Jones has "answered the bell" and is excited about the rookie's athleticism. Reiff has also seen Jones step up on the left side and is impressed with his raw skills.
"Braxton is a super talented individual," Reiff said. "He's experiencing some good edge rushers with Robert (Quinn) and all of those guys. As a rookie, it's hard, man. But it's good to take those lumps now and he's holding his own. The ceiling is super high with that kid. He's long, can move, smart."