Even when Jerry Angelo drafts a good player in the first round, the Bears find a way to reduce his role. This time, however, it’s a positive. Gabe Carimi should be ready to return from his chronic knee injury for this Sunday’s pivotal contest with the Detroit Lions but is there a role for him in the starting lineup? I don’t think so.
The Bears have their offensive line. They have found the five men up front who give them the best chance to win games. J’Marcus Webb may be getting max-protect, slide protection help but he is also clearly developing at one of the most difficult positions in the sport. Chris Williams is in my top five voting for Bears MVP this season. Roberto Garza’s transition to center and leader of this unit has left most Bears fans saying, “Olin who?” Chris Spencer may have been signed as a center but he is a tough, bruising type player at guard. Lance Louis is simply excellent at right tackle. Nothing else one can say about it.
Carimi is an excellent talent and his ability to play both left and right tackles should give the Bears their best depth along the line in years. Carimi’s return should also allow the Bears to make Frank Omiyale inactive each Sunday (though why they wouldn’t just cut him is beyond me). But Lovie Smith and Mike Tice can not disrupt the continuity and development of the five men who’ve lined up against Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia. If they do, they’ll risk disrupting their run to the postseason.