No Bears player made greater strides during the 2023 season than offensive lineman Teven Jenkins, who excelled at both the left and right guard positions.
Due to his performance as a run blocker and pass protector, ChicagoBears.com has selected Jenkins as the Bears' Most Improved Player in 2023.
"I'm really proud of the man and player that Teven is becoming," said Bears offensive line coach Chris Morgan. "His focus and consistency were evident to everyone in the program this year. He is an enforcer on the field whose play style has helped us build a strong foundation for the future."
According to Pro Football Focus, Jenkins:
- Allowed no sacks and no pressures on 99 snaps in games against the Commanders (37), Raiders (33) and Lions (29).
- Was the only Bears offensive lineman not to permit a sack or quarterback hit through the first eight games of the season.
- Received a 91.1 grade versus the Saints that was the highest of any NFL offensive lineman during Week 9, highest of his career and highest of any Bears player that weekend.
- Earned a 76.3 grade in a home win over the Lions that was the highest of any player on the Bears offense.
Jenkins remained even-keeled all year. After being informed he had received the top grade of any offensive lineman in Week 9, he said: "I just try to come into the building and be the same guy I am day-in and day-out. I appreciate all the love that I'm getting from everybody. But I try to stay level-headed and not get too big-headed about anything."
Check out the best photos of the 2023 season—taken by Bears photographers—featuring players on the offensive side of the ball.
Jenkins yo-yoed between both guard positions throughout the season. He performed well at right guard in 2022, appearing in 13 games with 11 starts. After the Bears signed veteran right guard Nate Davis in free agency, Jenkins was switched to left guard and worked there throughout training camp but missed the first four games of the season with a calf injury.
Activated for Week 5, he subbed in at left guard against the Commanders after center Lucas Patrick exited with an injury and Cody Whitehair moved from left guard to center. Jenkins started the following week at left guard versus the Vikings before opening the next four games at right guard after Davis was injured. When Davis returned in mid-November, Jenkins switched back to the left side.
"I wouldn't say it's easy," Jenkins said of changing positions. "A lot of people do it in the league. Just be able to do it at a high level, that's the challenging part."
Jenkins did it at a high level in 2023 and can get even better in the future.
"His best is still out there," Morgan said, "and he knows he has a chance to become a truly dominant player in this league."