Coming into the 2012 season, the biggest worry for the Chicago Bears was the offensive line. Even with a new general manager, no moves were really made to improve play in the trenches for the Chicago Bears. So when the left tackle J’Marcus Webb got off to a rocky start, it seemed as if the oversight of general manager Phil Emery could potentially be the downfall of a team destined for bigger things than their 2011 disappointment.
It was all highlighted by an incident between quarterback Jay Cutler and Webb on national television when Cutler shoved Webb for his poor play through the first two games. Since that loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Bears have yet to lose a game and Webb’s play has been, dare I say, extremely satisfying to Bears observers.
Webb gave up two sacks in the Packers game, but since then has allowed just one sack and one quarterback hit. He has gone seemingly unnoticed in the last four games, something that for a lineman is a great thing. Webb’s footwork has been pretty good this season, as he is not getting pushed back into Cutler, essentially creating a sack for the defense based on his position in the pocket.
Every time Webb makes a mistake, Bears fans are quick to point out what the seventh round pick did wrong, but all has been quiet amongst Bear nation when it has come to Webb lately. Actually, Webb has become maybe the best lineman the Bears have had this season. The penalties have basically been non-existent, and the sacks have been limited to the same. Yet Bears fans will be sitting there waiting for his next mistake, one which will be his first in over a month.
Yet on the other side of the line, Gabe Carimi has had an awful year. He has been the recipient of his fair share of penalties, as well as a concerning number of sacks. Carimi currently has eight penalties this season, by far the most of any Bears offensive lineman.
So one might ask if Carimi’s struggles have anything to do with his knee injury last season, which kept him out for the majority of the year. But one would have to question if Carimi is improving and learning from what has happened this year. Even in his last game, he had two penalties against the Detroit Lions.
Carimi is the last first round pick of former general manager Jerry Angelo , who still sits on the Bears roster. So far, the results have not been kind to the young tackle. The man who sits on the opposite side of the line once felt a similar fate. Now he has been a key anchor in the Bears current four game winning streak. If Carimi ever figures it out, this Bears offense line, once an extreme weakness, could be a key factor in a deep run into January. That may be up to Carimi. Who saw that coming a few months ago?
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