INDIANAPOLIS -- Charles Leno had the opportunity to start at right tackle over Jordan Mills on Saturday night, but Chicago Bears head coach John Fox said after the preseason game that the position remains open.
“It’s competition," Fox said. "We’re going to continue to compete.
“No jobs have been won yet. We’re still figuring out who our 53 best players are going to be. We’ll continue to do that. I thought we made progress tonight in really all phases; by no means have we arrived. If we can keep that mindset, I think we’ll continue to improve.”
Leno produced mixed results in two quarters of work against the Colts.
The 2014 seventh-round pick began the game with an illegal-use-of-hands penalty and later lost his block on a running play to Jacquizz Rodgers that went for minus-2 yards.
In between, Leno felt he did OK.
“It went well. I feel like ever since that penalty I slowed my technique down and got back to fundamentals,” Leno said.
Leno appeared in six games and made one start last season as a rookie.
“He’s athletic. I’ve only seen him play in two games in person,” Fox said. "I’ve seen him in practice now for a few opportunities. We’ll keep the competition, really in just about everywhere, and see what happens.”
Meantime, Mills said he learned of the demotion Friday night but still prepared as if he was starting.
“It happens,” Mills said. “You just have to keep playing and playing hard. We did a good job and I have to continue to get better.”
It’s worth noting again that Pro Bowl right guard Kyle Long played offensive tackle in the final two weeks of the offseason program. If Mills and Leno falter, the Bears could move Long to right tackle in the regular season. The issue is finding the right player to replace Long at right guard. The Bears don’t necessarily want to weaken the middle of their offensive line, especially since Long is such a dominant force at guard.