Chicago Bears Training Camp Offensive Line Update: Webb, Carimi and Williams

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Chris Williams #74 and J'Marcus Webb #73 of the Chicago Bears prepare to block against the Buffalo Bills during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 13, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Bills 10-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It’s hard to say 100 percent if a major shift has taken place in the battle for left tackle, but there seems to have been at least a little move towards securing the left tackle spot.

J’Marcus Webb and Chris Williams had been alternating who was at left tackle each day, and Wednesday was supposed to be Williams’ turn.

Instead, Webb got the work while Williams moved over to right tackle and Gabe Carimi got a break. Carimi was back off and on throughout the day, so it wasn't even much of a break, really.

As Brad Biggs opined  in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune, it’s a little early to know anything for sure, and there are multiple reasons the switch could have been made: Carimi was in need of a break (he’s only back from knee surgery since May and, as Biggs points out, has taken about all the right tackle reps since camp opened).

Or maybe they just wanted a different look to see what the line would look like with Williams/Webb both at the tackles.

Regardless, I agree with Biggs’ assertion that Webb has a leg up on Williams.

That’s not to lock anything up, but with Webb having played left tackle last year and reports being pretty positive about him so far in camp, it makes a lot of sense.

The sooner the team can settle that position, the better. Get the right guy, get him as many reps as possible and get him settled.

The question is—where does it leave Williams?

Biggs thinks Carimi has that right tackle spot locked up (and given the percentage of snaps he’s taken so far, he’s likely right), which would make Williams a swing tackle or perhaps someone they could move back to guard.

It’s not as if the guards they have are untouchable. If Williams—who is in a contract year—is ever going to shine with the Bears, this is the year.

Can’t make it happen from the bench.

I’m interested to see if this lights a fire under Williams’ tail.

Carimi is looking pretty good so far, and more importantly, healthy.

Having missed so much of his rookie season, the more reps Carimi can get the better—a likely reason why he’s had so many this camp already.

If indeed he has the right tackle sewn up, then that’s a positive for this line. Again, the sooner it gets set, the better for the offense as a whole.


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