None of it ever existed.
Lets keep Lane Johnson on the charts.
Brown may have a shot because he's more athletic and at least 3" shorter but he's also not ideal for OG and he played LT in college. He's more built for the outside and he has the arm length and athleticism to play LT if he can learn the rest of what it takes. In the long run he may be the better candidate to develop as a LT if we don't find a good solution in FA . Webb needs someone to push him and Brown may be that guy.
Tice had this philosophy of playing his five best OL no matter what position they usually played. That meant he made OGs out of OTs if it suited him. I don't believe you'll see Kromer take that approach. I can't see playing 6'7" or 6'8" guys at OG no matter how good a run blocker that guy might be at OT.
I also don't want to see them fuck around with Carimi the same way they did with CWill and move him so often that he never does develop well at any one spot. You don't want to make another utility OLineman out of a first round pick. Carimi is and always has been an OT so let him develop as one and a RT not a LT. In that regard Tice was right. He's not an NFL level LT.
We are not gonna get a starting LT in the draft who's any better now than Webb could be so that problem needs to be solved in FA if it can be. That leaves OC and LG and if Emery truly believes that Jones is a better pick than Warmack or Cooper I expect that's who he'll take but as it stands TODAY I can't see how you could pass up two top twenty ranked sure things for a guy who not only doesn't rank as high at his projected position and who's also recovering from a Lis Franc injury.
I probably would not gamble a 1st round pick on him when I had better choices still on the board yet I believe that just because there are no other OCs who rank as high someone may. So I'll let them take that risk but if he fell far enough to grab in two I'd be all over him even if I had to trade up a few spots to get him.
I'm beginning to see less and less likelihood that the Bears will go after Bushrod. For the additional amount we have to pay for him we don't gain very much. The guy allows more QB hurries than Webb and Brees gets rid of the ball a lot faster than Cutler does and he also struggles with speed rusher so this is not the guy to match up one on one with a Clay Matthews or a Jared Allen expecting better results. I think we might take a sniff around Albert if he gets to the market but if NY locks up Beatty we'll have trouble finding help in FA and that leaves it up to Kromer to keep Webb advancing.
I really think I'd be happy with Carimi vs Webb for the RT spot, because that's really the only spot for either player (based off of what they showed last year; all that changes if the new offensive staff breaks through with either one) to be playing. That would also mean we drafted or signed a LT.
I just posted an article of an interview with Aaron Kromer where he briefly discusses his plans for the Bears offense. From his comments it's pretty obvious that he believes, like we do, that it all begins upfront and that the key to offensive success is consistent line play.
He says the same thing pat things that we've heard from others about adapting to your personnel but the main difference is that's he actually seems to have done that or been instrumental in that in NOLA as opposed to simply talking a good story and then blasting straight ahead with his plans regardless of whether they were a fit or not.
What's interesting to me is that he and Trestman have spent a significant amount of time planning what they'd like to run first and then began making player evaluations while in that process and they haven't completed them yet. That could be one reason why we haven't heard all that much about roster moves and also why it's been hard to predict what direction the team will move in FA and the draft although I don't think there's any doubt about the OLine getting the majority of the attention.
What Kromer did indicate is that he'd prefer to run inside/outside zone blocking schemes and that style seems to me to be the best fit for Matt Forte's running style. It's designed to open seams or gaps for a cut back style runner which Forte is and it places a premium on quickness and athletic ability from your line as opposes to size and brute force. This is somewhat the opposite of what Tice was trying to run and I believe that it is a better fit for our offensive talent in general.
The Broncos have used a similar scheme for years and had good success with it when running the ball. It doesn't require 350lb behemoths on the OLine but rather smaller quicker lineman who can play with speed and leverage. Exactly how Kromer will see this current bunch fitting that scheme I'm not certain but players like Webb, Louis and Brown have those types of basic skills and so far Carimi does as a run blocker but has a lot to learn as a pass blocker. I think Kromer will find a way to make use of these four at the very least.
I'm gonna say what I have been saying and that is it's entirely possible that we won't find a better vet LT than the one we have. The lowest man on the totem pole cost wise will probably be Bushrod and after doing a little more looking into his performance statistically he's really been no better than Webb as a pass blocker and maybe even a little worse if you can believe that. He's certainly allowed more pressure in the form of "hurries" and their sack numbers aren't all that much different this past year. If one of the two has reached the top of his game I'd say it's more likely to be Bushrod than Webb since he's actually had the benefit of Kromer's coaching.
The key going into both the draft and FA is how they view certain key players and that we don't know yet. Emery has made a few comments about them but we've hear nothing much from Kromer except the style he tends to favor. If we read into what Emery says he doesn't believe we need four or five new lineman and I believe he expects his coaches to get better production out of some of the guys who are there at least for this year. He's got some cap space to shop with but not a lot when you consider some of the other issues he needs to tackle with our own FAs and we all know that rookies are far less expensive than vet FAs in their prime. That's why you can't buy a line you have to build it and it would appear that we hired the right guy to do that.
Teams are beginning to release players with high cap numbers now as they prepare for FA so I would expect we'll get some indications about the Bears intentions fairly soon. If we're gonna add OLine talent in FA it seems to me most of the sacrifices are gonna have to come from letting some defensive talent go or there'll need to be some significant restructuring of some cap heavy deals. Looking at Kromer's success building a line out of mid round picks in NOLA I would be shocked if we weren't major bidders as far as top tier OLineman go. We have a few places that need some help and all it would take is one more huge contract on top of the need to use a tag for Melton and we'd be out of business as far as adding some of the better second tier guys.
Here's a budget oriented approach and some rationale based on what we can see right now and it really depends a lot on how Kromer views his line and the players on it. I'm gonna assume that we can't fill LT in FA and that we have to use Webb and either a draftee or an existing player to fill that spot. So depending on how Kromer and Trestman view things and how the draft falls here's the guys who I think would interest them in the first round of the draft.
LT - Lane Johnson would be a project much like Nate Solder has been but he may have the best upside of anyone who might fall as far as the #20 pick. It would probably take a year to get him ready to start so we end up with Webb as our LT in 2013 but assuming Webb gets no better Johnson can take over in 2014 and Webb departs his career in Chicago over.
OG - I'd put Warmack's name here if I truly thought he'd fall as far as #20 but I think he'll go before that. He's a David DeCastro level sure thing and the #7 ranked player overall. DeCastro lasted until the early 20s last year so there's always a chance but I think if we want an OG were more likely to have to settle for Cooper but in either case we'd be getting one hell of a good LG who could start day one and I believe either would be a great fit for what Kromer intends to run as far as his blocking schemes.
OC - Barrett Jones seems to be a favorite of quite a few and I truly like the guy and his attitude and abilities. In any other year he'd probably be my guy but there are better prospects than him who should still be on the board at #20. He might be my "plan B" if I traded back in round one or to the top of two. There's no doubt the kid is a great football player but is he the best football player we could take in round one?
RT - The Wild Card here might be a big kid like Fluker who Kromer might be able to convert in to a Carl Nicks type OG. Fluker has pretty fair athleticism for a guy his size although I don't think enough of it to ever be a LT but as a RT or and OG he may work. To me he's a "plan C" type of trade down prospect or even a second round guy depending on his Combine results.
What we have on the roster now are a few useable guy who are gonna need to get much better for that OLine to succeed but I think our biggest weaknesses are still inside as opposes to outside. We really don't have a viable LG on the team. Carimi will never cut it there and although Brown has some of what you'd look for in a LG in a zone scheme if we don't sign or draft a LT he's about the only guy we have with LT possibilities to use to push Webb. Corey Brandon is strictly a RT and although Scott has played some LT he's really not any better option there than Webb and he's a FA as well.
So these are a more complete set of my pre-Combine and pre-FA views on that line. I expect to see some changes but from exactly where and who is just too hard to say right now. All I know is that I'm preparing myself for another year with Webb and Carimi as our OTs and looking for the big changes to come inside.
I hope to get Lane Johnson. If he isn't ready, let him learn a year. After next season Webbs contract will end.
Carimi is a guy I'd want to see as LG
The kid was an Outland Trophy winner and a four year starter in college at OT so why in the hell would it make any sense at all to play him at OG? Especially LG of all places where he'd need to pull and trap block and he's not built for that.
He played a couple of games against crappy teams as an emergency OG and not all that well either and all of a sudden he's an OG? WTF. :rock: