The Bears spent a big part of their offseason trying to fix their offensive line, but they didn’t touch the most important part of the line.
And for incumbent left tackle Charles Leno, that kind of confidence is something he feels he needs to uphold.
The Bears went out and signed free agent right tackle Bobby Massie, in part because of his own skills but largely to move Kyle Long back inside. They also signed a raft of veteran interior blockers, but they never made a move to upgrade at Leno’s position.
“They believed in me,” Leno said, via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Now I’ve got to repay them.”
The former seventh-round pick fell into the job last year when Jermon Bushrod was injured, and showed well enough to keep the job when Bushrod was well. He also gave the Bears a degree of hope, or at least enough that he didn’t have to be high on the offseason replacement priority list.
“I know if I’m confident in my technical abilities — which I am and I’m still growing — I know I can play against anybody,” Leno said. “I feel like I have the confidence from the [2015 season]. But also I’ve got to go to work every day. I’m not settled in. I’m not just going out there going through the motions.”
He better not be. The Bears invested too much — or rather didn’t invest — for him to not be a trustworthy starter.