I listen to what people say, but I pay more attention to what they do. Actions speak louder than words. At least that's been my observation over the years.
So, I watch the actions of the Chicago Bears under Lovie Smith's tenure. I see a lot of good things (mostly good things....I like the guy as coach). But one thing seems clear (to me anyway), that they don't place a high value on the blocking part of football.
Earlier this year Tice stated he was fine with our existing oline players, and we didn't need to upgrade any in the draft. We didn't. We finally had a guy to help us with blocking in Tyler Clutts (one of the best blockers I've seen on the Bears in the past few years) and we cut him. We'll keep a 4th TE instead. None of our TE's can block very well, including Spaeth.
So, my gut feeling here is that you can see the positions on the roster that are most highly valued under Smith, and the middle-valued positions - and then the blockers. It looks to me like they really don't believe they need to invest much into this resource.
Maybe they're right. And I hope they are, because I see a lot of mediocre talent, and none that stand out (Carimi may, but we don't know that yet). They do have a 1st rounder in Spencer that we brought in from Seattle, but I don't see anything exceptional there. C.Will was the "left tackle of the future" when we drafted him, but he doesn't look like much of a tackle to me (and that's where they chose to play him this year).
Blocking and tackling, are not looking so hot this year. To me, those skills are basic to success. Even at the high school level. Certainly at the pro level. But not in Chicago. Not under Lovie Smith anyway.