Charles Leno Jr. Focusing On Basic Consistency

New offensive line coach Juan Castillo came to the Bears preaching what Charles Leno already believed about himself
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Considering offensive line coach Juan Castillo came to the Bears stressing fundamentals, he might be exactly what Charles Leno Jr. needs.

Leno, it seems, didn't really need to be told his play last year left something to be desired, especially blocking the run. The team's struggles at running the ball told everyone on the offensive line this had to improve.

"I just got to raise the level of my play, focus more on doing my job better and on more of a high level," Leno said.

The specific area Leno is looking at is simply paying more attention to details and basics.

"The one thing I looked at was the details and lacking in fundamentals—that's one thing I looked at when I was reviewing my film," Leno said. "I'm gonna do a tremendously better job at that. I already know it.

"I feel it in the way I'm practicing right now. And I felt it in the way I've been training this offseason. And no, I didn't switch up anything during my training. Just more homed in on the commitment to better myself with details and fundamentals."

Leno pulled down a Pro Football Focus rating as a run blocker of 47.5 last year, a very low score and by far the lowest of his career.

His overall scores from that analytical website had remained consistent and solid until last year. The 47.5 helped pull down his overall blocking grade to 58.6. 

Prior to last season, he'd gone four straight years with overall grades between 68.5 and 78.7, which rates from above average to excellent.

Yet Leno had 13 penalties last year and two years prior had 13 penalties. The fundamental approach could help Leno avoid mistakes leading to penalties and sloppy blocks.

"I think the first thing about any player is you know that to be a good player you have to be consistent," offensive line coach Juan Castillo said. "All right, to be consistent your footwork and your hands in pass protection, your footwork ... and your target in the run game and so really, you know, to me when I watch Charles I just saw like what you really see in other people is that I need to make him more consistent."

Castillo sees the evidence Leno is committed.

"I think that's for the whole group," Castillo said.

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