Friday, February 22, 2013
Carimi at OT or OG?
By Tim Kavanagh
Leading into the 2011 NFL draft, the Chicago Bears were riding high off an appearance in the NFC championship game, and it was thought they just needed to make some tweaks to their roster to continue a run of dominance. With the 29th overall selection, they chose Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi, and projected that he could be their starting RT as soon as that fall. Two seasons filled with injuries and inconsistency later, they're not really sure what they've got in the former Badger.
In fact, GM Phil Emery admitted during his press conference on Thursday at the scouting combine that it's not really certain where he'll be lining up this fall.
"Our coaches are going to work through that -- during OTAs, during the winter," Emery explained, via the Chicago Sun-Times. "[They need to] get to know Gabe. Get to know what his strengths and weaknesses are. They've seen some things on tape. I think they see upside for him as a tackle or a guard. So we'll find out through that process, and I'm sure that will take all the way through camp to find his exact position."
Neat. Well, the LT spot is currently occupied by J'Marcus Webb, though some believe that this spot will be open to competition. The Bears may also lose Chris Williams, Lance Louis, Jonathan Scott and Chilo Rachal to free agency, which would open up some vacancies on the interior (and at RT).
The good news for Carimi -- and any other OL still on the roster after the shuffling of free agency -- is that new OC Aaron Kromer did excellent work in transforming some less-than-stellar OL prospects in New Orleans into productive starters. With a player as highly touted as Carimi once was, the results could be even better.