Thursday, January 31, 2013
By Tim Kavanagh
One of the hot topics of the offseason for the Chicago Bears is what they're going to do on the offensive line, and how much they'll have to invest in new personnel to help Aaron Kromer establish a nice wall for Jay Cutler. One of the key parts of any plan is 2011 first-round pick Gabe Carimi, who has yet to make a good name for himself in Chicago, after injury issues plagued him in his first two campaigns.
As part of his reader mailbag column this week, Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune addressed Carimi's projection for 2013:
"I think Carimi could be the Tim Jennings of 2013 in terms of being a greatly improved player. He is talented enough to make major improvements in his game. In the early part of the 2012 season, Carimi was not healthy. He was favoring his right knee, which had been partially dislocated and surgically repaired. In the latter part of the 2012 season, Carimi had issues with a lack of lower body strength, and a lack of confidence. All of it, I believe, was related to the knee. He needs a full offseason of strength training to build power and bulk, and he needs to remember how good he can be. If Carimi does not come back strong next season, he probably never will."
The Bears will need to add some help both inside and outside on their O-line this offseason, as four players are impending free agents (and none is an automatic to be back on a new deal): Lance Louis, Chris Williams, Jonathan Scott and Chilo Rachal. So there will be competition for Carimi as he attempts to carve out his role for Chicago.