Bears shuffle O-line, move Chris Williams to guard. Garza benched
By Brad Biggs
The Bears are bringing quarterback Jay Cutler back two weeks after he was sacked nine times and suffered a concussion against the Giants.
They will be doing so behind a revamped offensive line. The Bears will break out their fourth combination on the line this season, and it's one that no one saw coming. Chris Williams, tabbed as the left tackle of the future when he was drafted in the first round in 2008, has been moved to left guard. Williams is also expected to return on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks after missing the last three games with a pulled right hamstring.
Nothing says the move is permanent, but it's the way the Bears are expected to line up Sunday with Frank Omiyale, signed as a free agent last year, remaining at left tackle where he has been the last three games. The odd man out in the change is Roberto Garza, who heads to the bench after starting 69 consecutive games. Garza has been battling a knee issue the last few weeks.
Edwin Williams likely will remain at right guard where he started for the first time last week at Carolina. J'Marcus Webb, a seventh-round draft pick, will stay at right tackle. Webb will be an interesting player to watch. He could one day emerge as the future left tackle.
Chris Williams, who has 18 career starts at left tackle in the NFL, has played guard before. He started nine games at the position as a sophomore at Vanderbilt. Omiyale was used at left guard last season, getting 12 starts, but the career tackle struggled there. The Bears believe he's done even better on the left side now that he's been moved over from right tackle, and he played well there in Sunday's victory at Carolina when the Bears rushed for 218 yards, the most the franchise has totaled in the last two decades.
"Offensive line play is about playing together," center Olin Kreutz said. "But it's the NFL. Guys go down and people have to step up."