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Bears Taking the Tom Brady Approach at Tackle

The Chicago Bears will get older at left tackle, in fact quite a bit older, with the signing of 39-year-old former Eagles left tackle Jason Peters.

There were two offensive portions to Saturday's 20-13 Bears preseason win over the Miami Dolphins and obviously one was the comeback Justin Fields engineered.

The way he moved and threw gave Miami fits and it would be easy to see it happening in the regular season against any number of NFL defenses, including even Green Bay.

However, Fields isn't the starting Bears quarterback and as such he was performing against backup Miami defensive players. When the first team played for the Bears against real Miami starters, the offense experienced quite a bit less success than Fields and the backups did. And it wasn't quarterback Andy Dalton's fault.

"We stalled early," Dalton said. "That was tough.

"Second drive we had up there, we got the first down, had the penalty that kind of set us back. No, it would have been nice to kind of get into a little bit more of a rhythm. But it's preseason. Preseason one. Got a couple more to go. Big thing is to be ready for week one."

Feel free to insert a quip about who the starter will be by Week 1 at quarterback, because Fields on Saturday pretty much reduced Dalton to an afterthought.

The Bears didn't manage a first down under Dalton, but the receivers had trouble getting some separation. More importantly, the blockers struggled. 

No one seems worried about Bears receivers when Allen Robinson is still on the roster. He didn't play Saturday due to a hamstring issue, and Darnell Mooney is still on the roster as well. 

However, the Bears are experiencing a budding offensive line disaster. 

It seems they've taken action now to help prevent it from doing real damage, although it's questionable how much this will help.

Without rookie Teven Jenkins at left tackle, they've shuffled any number of players into the spot and now they've agreed to terms with someone much older than rookie Larry Borom or even veteran swing tackle Elijah Wilkinson. In fact, he's almost as old as Matt Nagy.

It's former Eagles left tackle Jason Peters, a nine-time Pro Bowl player and two-time All-Pro. And if they make it deep into the playoffs this season, they'll get to celebrate his 40th birthday with him.

The 39-year-old last year allowed eight sacks, according to Pro Football Focus, which still gave him a respectable overall blocking grade of 67.6. By the way, that's lower than Charles Leno Jr. had last year. He had a 74.9 and was cut.

"We understand that he's older," Nagy said. "We get that. We know that."

It's a case of bringing in a player who has worked with line coach Juan Castillo in the past in Philadelphia, from 2004-2010.

"There's a history with Juan; Juan worked with him several years ago in Philadelphia and I knew him when I was there," Nagy said.

A move like this makes it look like desperation, and that Jenkins might be headed for injured reserve with the back issue he has. However, Nagy says this isn't the case.

"It really doesn't have anything to do with Teven, but it's about familiarity with a guy that's played in this league for a long time and he's very good," Nagy said.

Nagy assured the media this is not a case where they want a veteran mentor type to show Jenkins the ropes, the way they did with Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham last year.

"I think he's coming in here to compete to be the left tackle," Nagy said "So that's what. It's open, man. It's competition. I think he's going to be competing and understanding it and that's the beauty is you come on in here and he understands our situation, we understand his situation. Let's go."

Peters might understand the offense better, as well, considering he has played in something similar with the Eagles.

Nagy lauded the efforts of GM Ryan Pace and the pro scouting side to bring in a player with this experience, although in all honesty it's a potential mistake they made in considering the potential for disaster with Jenkins' back in the predraft medical evaluation that may have led to needing Peters. Nagy this past week on WSCR's Mully and Haugh said the team knew how a back issue led to three missed games last year.

"If that's going to provide more competition and somebody that played last year and did well when you watched the tape, we like that," Nagy said.

"I think this that's important to always check off."

The Bears first-team offense had problems beyond left tackle against the Dolphins, but that was a good start.

Dalton gave credit to the linemen who were fighting the good fight all week at practice and in the game.

"There have been a lot of guys that have been put in a lot of different positions because of everything that's gone up front," Dalton said.

But I thought our guys did a great job today, great job in

"Protection, great job in the run game, giving our guys opportunities to make a couple big plays. We had a couple

big chunk runs that were big, explosive plays that helped us win this game."

This was the second-team line, or actually the third-team line. Right now the first-team line is what used to be largely the second-team line. Lachavious Simmons was at right tackle to start out the game, Alex Bars was next to him at right guard and is a backup. And Wilkinson was a swing tackle starting at left tackle, where he's never played.

There is pressure for Peters to come in and produce something.

What it all means for Jenkins is anyone's guess.

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