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Bears starters to play 6-10 snaps in Seattle | Quick Hits

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus
Bears head coach Matt Eberflus

Although it will vary by individual, coach Matt Eberflus said Tuesday that Bears starters generally will play 6-10 snaps in Thursday night's preseason game against the Seahawks in Seattle.

It's a reduction in reps from last Saturday's preseason-opening win over the Chiefs—when the No. 1 offense and defense played 18 and 16 snaps, respectively—because there are only five days between the two games.

"It's a short week, so we're not going to put the stress on the bodies," Eberflus said. "We're going to go 6-to-10 plays, depending on a series or two, with a limited number of guys. Other guys might get 20 plays and we'll yank them from there. And then the young guys will get a lot of reps."

Eberflus had that plan in mind when he divvied up practice reps Tuesday.

"At the end of practice, it was all ones practicing, because those guys are getting limited reps in the game," Eberflus said. "What we're going to do with those twos, we got them off their legs. They only really had half a practice."

Jenkins kicked inside

One player who could see expanded action against the Seahawks is Teven Jenkins. The second-year pro moved from tackle to right guard this week in practice, working with the second unit Monday and the starters Tuesday.

"We kicked him inside and he's been there for a couple days and he's doing a good job," Eberflus said. "We're excited where he goes from this moving forward. We'll see how it goes. This is another combination that we have, we're looking at, and we'll go from there."

Selected by the Bears in the second round of last year's draft out of Oklahoma State, Jenkins missed the first 11 games of his rookie season after undergoing back surgery in August. He played in the final six games with two starts, both at left tackle.

Jenkins doesn't have much NFL experience. But that doesn't mean he can't win a starting job.

"He's very smart," Eberflus said. "Very athletic player. And one of my mentors said this—and I believe this and he engrained into my mind—is that you never put a ceiling on a player. So you'll always have to watch out for that as a coach.

"Let him grow. Let him do his thing because some people mature and grow at different times. And all of a sudden, they just grow into a player, they grow into a really good NFL player. And that's for any position. We're never going to put ceilings on guys. We're always going to think the best for every player. The sky's the limit for you, and we're coaching every single player on the roster that way."

Homeward bound

Bears rookie cornerback Kyler Gordon, who grew up in the Seattle area, practiced for a second straight day Tuesday and is expected to make his preseason debut Thursday night against his hometown team.

An undisclosed injury forced the second-round pick from Washington to sit out last Saturday night's preseason opener.

"It's kind of a homecoming for him, so he's really excited about it," Eberflus said. "He's going to get his plays in. We're excited to see where he is when he performs out there at his position."

Mental preparation

After concluding Tuesday's practice, Eberflus instructed players to begin focusing on their mental preparation for Thursday's game. It's a process he dubbed "48-hour preparation" that the Bears will employ all season. 

"Forty-eight hours before the game, you start thinking about how you're going to perform," Eberflus said. "The X's and O's is over. Preparation now is mental. We're working with those guys to create that process during these preseason games. And I think that's so important for all the players because you talk about your job on a particular play, all those things, but you set your mind up for success in the 48 hours prior to and visualizing success; being successful on plays, doing your job the right way and execution. 

"And then you get to a certain point before the game, and then you let it go, sometimes it's four hours before the game, just kind of let things go and you just go play."

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