Chicago Sun-Times

Where will Gabe Carimi play? This is what I think....

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Bears coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo wouldn't commit to a position for Gabe Carimi, the 29th overall selection in the NFL Draft.

But this is my expectation: Carimi will play right tackle, and J'Marcus Webb will get to play left tackle, which he played at West Texas A&M.

One of the pre-Combine knocks on Carimi is that he may not be athletic enough to play left tackle in the NFL. But at the Combine, Carimi did a very solid 29 reps on the bench press, a 31 1/2 inch vertical leap, and his best 40-time was a 5.18. Only six offensive tackles had a faster time than him, including Nate Solder, who ran a Combine-best 4.96.

Still, this is clear: Carimi isn't the athlete that Webb is.

Webb will embrace the opportunity to swing back to what he considers his natural position, and Carimi will embrace the opportunity to start at right tackle.

So what happens to the rest of the linemen?

Well, there will be a lot of competition to play guard.

The Bears still need to re-sign Olin Kreutz, who is an unrestricted free agent. With Webb entering his second season and Carimi entering his first, that signing is even more mandatory than before. Kreutz's leadership is a must for the unit, especially with the possibility that only he will be starting at the same spot as he did in 2010.

Chris Williams, the 14th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, is currently at left guard. But Frank Omiyale, who had a lot of ups and downs at left tackle, has numerous starts at that position. Roberto Garza has long manned the post at right guard.

But, the Bears are expected to open up the competition at guard to players like Lance Louis, Johan Asiata and Edwin Williams.

May the best men win.

But more than anything, there is one thing that should be welcomed by the Bears: Carimi will bring a hard-nosed approach to the unit. The Bears have several "athletes" but they don't have enough attitude. Carimi is in the Kreutz mold, someone who will try to drill his opponent into the ground.

So Carimi thinks he's "NFL ready." Smith wouldn't pin a timetable on where and when he'll play, but the Bears certainly would be disappointed if he's not starting from Day One.

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Good thoughts, Sean, but I think we're a long way from knowing what the line will look like with free agency looming. I think the Guard and possibly center spots could look quite different once a FA or two come into play. And don't forget about Herman Williams, who is big and might fit the Tice mold to play guard.

Philly I think you meant Herman Johnson, but otherwise I agree that he may be in the mix. The Bears gave up a lot to keep him on the roster last year after picking him up from Arizona's practice squad. Reading between the lines, Tice likes him and fought to hide him on the 53-man to be there this year. That is one big, and intruiging dude.

Sean I like what you said, but Omiyale really sucked at guard. He is decent at eiher tackle position, but I don't see guard as a long term option for him. His experience there could make him valuable in a reserve role probably.

You're probably right. But Omiyale may be motivated for a starting spot. He's a hard worker.

Whoops...thanks MSBearsFan - I did indeed mean Herman Johnson!

We know Gabe Carimi was brought in to play tackle, what side is the question? Ulimately, its gonna be Mike Tice's call. I wouldn't be surprised either way. What I can't wait for is when the hitting starts and Carimi has to go one on one with Julius Peppers, then we'll see where he really stands.

As far as Frank Omiyale, he is what he is, a swing tackle. I can't see the Bears moving Omiyale back to guard, the Bears made it clear they would like to put a player in a position and lock them into it. Omiyale has to stay at tackle if for nothing else depth, I say he ends up as the Bears swing tackle, a perfect position for him.

Now the guard position will be interesting, the Bears will probably go into camp with Chris Williams at left guard, and Roberto Garza lined up at his normal right guard position. I can see Lance Louis pushing Garza, Tice was pretty big on him last summer, it will be interesting to see where Louis is at. Big Herman Johnson, the 6-7 350lb monster could push Chris Williams for the left side position, that might be a battle to watch in camp.

As far as the center position goes, tonight might be the tell tale, if Chicago brings in a guy like Stefen Wisniewski in tonights draft, I doubt Kreutz will return. If no center is drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round, Olin will probably be brought back to start one more season and Edwin Williams will be the #2 center. The draft tonight will also tell how big the Bears are on Edwin Williams as their next center? That is gonna be interesting GO BEARS!!

Omiyale may be a hard worker, but what has that got him. Last year listed by PFF as one of the four worst tackles in football along with Webb. If your not athletic enough to play guard, there is no chance you should be athletic enough to play LT.

I like Carimi at RT as well, although I think he could be a solid LT in time but will always be a better RT. The Bears scheme does not help any of the tackles, Orlando Pace struggled in this offense at times. If the Bears were more of a running team like the Titans Carimi would be fine at LT. Personally I don't want to see Webb or Carimi manning the island on the blindside in this offense.

Herman Johnson you can forget about, he is weak for his size and his feet are as slow as you will ever see.

Bears have more work to do on the line, if the ignore that area again they will pay for it this season. By the way another reason the Bears may want to play Carimi on the right side is because they don't want to pair him with the lackluster Williams as a rookie and they probably want him playing next to a vet, much like Webb last year. Bears could help themselves in FA with Marshall Yanda.

"The Bears still need to re-sign Olin Kreutz."


Sean, was Olin Kreutz adopted by the McCaskey's? Will he inherit the team? Is he the reincarnation/clone of George Halas? Halas's love child? Does he throw the best parties (Hawaiian luau)? Seriously...

With all-do respect, Olin Kreutz IS DONE! He is an all-time great , but the potency of the line declines as Kreutz declines. He deserves to retire. Let the guy rest his tendons and spine on Sundays. Maybe, hire him as an assistant OL coach.

Experience is fine, but the interior desperately needs more and more youth, strength, and explosion to set the pocket and create cutback lanes. Suh, Fairley, Raji, Williams, Williams! Kreutz...


Kevin I need to address something you said earlier, it wasn't the QB's taken that allowed Carimi to fall to the Bears, it was the 13 defensive linemen drafted and the defensive players in general.

1. Cam Newton taken, Panthers were never looking O-line no help to the Bears.

2. Jake Locker goes to the Titans who were never looking O-Line.

3. Jags take Gabbert again another team not lookig O-Line

4. Vikings take Ponder yet another team not looking for O-Line help

Now how did the D-Line help?

1. Bills brought Carimi in for a private workout, they took Dareus.

2. Lions were looking for help on the O-Line and they took Fairley

3. Redskins took Kerrigan, coulkd have easily gone Oline or QB. But went D-Line

4. Chargers need big help at RT they took Liuget which was surprise.

5. Giants take Amukamara not a linemen but still plays defense, they need major help on the O-Line. Lions also passed on him and corner was a big need for them again Fairley helps out.

6. Saints could of gone Oline or Dline but went D-Line and took Jordan who really doesn't fit there defense.

7. Ravens need a tackle in a big way but went Corner, again defense helps out.

8. Finally the Bears got lucky with the Seahawks not going after Carimi and taking Carpenter, and are thanking god the Chiefs took Baldwin cause the next guy on their board was probably Carimi. Carimi also ran around telling everyone he wanted to be a Bear and that all other teams suck.

Sean I need a favor, could you sing God Bless the USA by Mr. Lee Greenwood on your twitter account.

I'm already nauseous at the idea of Webb at left tackle. Creighton, you talked about football IQ in another recent thread on the draft. Webb looked like he had no clue whom to block so many times last season I can't count them. He almost got Cutler killed playing the right side, I definitely don't want to see him on the left one. I know there aren't that many good left tackles, but the Bears have to do a lot better than Webb at that position. If they don't, Cutler's new bride can visit him in the hospital.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on April 29, 2011 8:40 AM.

Analysts weigh in on Bears' pick was the previous entry in this blog.

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