Shufflin’ Bears O-line: Garza Out, Williams In at Left Guard

It was back to work for the Bears and one Bear in particular who has been out since a hamstring injury since Week 2 in Dallas.  Chris Williams returned to practice on Wednesday, but not at his customary left tackle spot.  Instead, he took one step inside, moving over to the left guard spot.  Where’s Roberto Garza, you ask?  He will be out for a little while as he recovers from getting his knee scoped.

It’s an interesting move, especially with your supposed left tackle of the future.  It goes to show that this coaching staff has thrown out all pre-conceived notions, draft status and big money contracts aside and focused on getting the five best linemen on the field.  So why put Williams at left guard?  Let’s explore the move after the jump.

I don’t think this is a demotion of Williams as much as it is trying to build on some of the success from last week.  The combination of Edwin Williams and J’Marcus Webb seemed to work on the right side.  They’re both bigger bodies that can move some people around, so expect them to get rewarded for a solid effort with another start and a chance to lock down that right side of the line.

We already got a good glimpse of Frank Omiyale at guard.  When the Bears signed him as a free agent last offseason, the thought was they could move him inside to guard.  It didn’t work.  Not at all.  He struggled and along with a semi-comatose Orlando Pace, became a scapegoat for the Bears’ bad offensive line play.  No need to move Omiyale to guard because we know how that movie ends.

Furthermore, (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) Omiyale has actually held his own at left tackle in Williams’ absence.  It was his move to LT along with Kevin Shaffer going in at right tackle that helped salvage the Cowboys game when it started so poorly.  Omiyale is more comfortable on the left side of the line and has the wingspan to play tackle.  Is he the long-term solution there?  I hope not but in this cut-and-paste, makeshift offensive line, he might be the next best alternative and the net effect of Omiyale at tackle and Williams at guard could be better than anything else the Bears have to put out there.

I wonder what happens when Roberto Garza comes back from his knee cleanup?  Hopefully by the time he’s back, everyone has settled into their new roles and they’ve started to gel.


Through the month of October, my usual BEAR DOWN signoff will be in pink to raise awareness for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Tags: Chris Williams Edwin Williams Frank Omiyale J'marcus Webb Kevin Shaffer Roberto Garza

  • Ronman

    Doesn’t make one iota of difference which combination of losers they put out there. Jerry Angelo has let his O line deteriorate since the Super Bowl year and he hasn’t drafted the quality of players required to field an even halfway decent O line. I have never seen an O line let so many defensive players get to their QB totally unobstructed. The opposition players are just licking their chops in anticipation of playing the Bears so they can pad their sack stats. Cutler will be knocked out of another game soon and there is really nothing the Bears can do about it at this stage of the season. I guess all we Bear fans have to look forward to is knowing next year there will be a new coaching staff, and I sincerely hope, a new GM. They need to clean house. Hopefully the old lady will open up the purse strings and they can convince Bill Cowher to take over the reins. Until then, we will hear the same excuses over and over all season.